Techno thrillseekers took to the desert of Churchill County in a search for treasure last weekend, but also for the benefit of Fallon leukemia cluster families.
About 100 people took to the backroads of Churchill County for the seconnd annual Great Basin and Eastern Sierra Geocachers' Navigation Rally May 20 and 21.
Profits will be given to Fallon Families First.
In geocaching, participants use global positioning system (GPS) units to find "caches" containing hidden prizes or trinkets. Gov. Kenny Guinn proclaimed May 21 Nevada Geocache Day to showcase the event.
There are more than 1,600 caches buried in Nevada, according to the Web site www.geocaching.com.
Churchill County's terrain provides a challenge for veteran geocachers, said Monty Wolf, event director.
"Geocaching is great out there," Wolf said. "Every place you look, there's a place to hide a cache. Every bush, every rock is a potential hiding spot."
Fifty-one new caches were created for the weekend rally. While some are in plastic containers or ammo cans, others are a bit more deceptive.
"There are caches out there that look like rocks," Wolf said.
While planning the rally, the possibility of turning a profit came up, he said. Organizers wanted to give something back to the local community.
"Fallon Families First was the first option," Wolf said.
The costs have not been completely calculated, but the donation will likely be a few hundred dollars, he said.
The donation is greatly appreciated, said Cindy Johnson, member of the Fallon Families First board of directors. While the number of new cluster cases has tapered off, so have donations, she said.
"Anytime there's a new family coming on board or families that are getting into complications with treatment, the dollars need to assist them with their care goes out."
FFF currently provides assistance to eight families affected by the Fallon leukemia cluster, she said.
FFF provides food and gas vouchers, rent and mortgage assistance and retail vouchers for affected families.
The group also helps arrange transportation, accommodations and cash reimbursement for families that must travel for treatment.
Treatment for childhood leukemia averages three years plus a year of follow-up.