Jennifer Benna and JB Benna
|ABOUT US by Jen Benna
JB and I have grown up with animals our entire lives. Dogs, cats, horses… the occasional snake, lizard and turtle. They have all become family to us in the 30 years we have walked this earth. What we would do without these cherished members of our family?
When JB and I were in college, we adopted our first cat together, Tazzoe, a beautiful, strong Tabby. He was being fostered and I remember not knowing how to choose amongst all these darling 8 week old kitties. So I held this spunky little Tabby and looked him in the eyes and he licked my nose. I knew he was our cat. Tazzoe came home with us that day and thus it started our family.
Since 1999, we have rescued 5 shelter animals and they have truly been our children. Most of them were sickly or injured when we adopted them. But we saw a spark in each of their eyes and knew we could work through the issues and rehabilitate them into loving members of the family.
In 2003, JB and I began volunteering at the Los Angeles shelters and it was eye opening about the kind of help these centers needed. I remember having a pet supply donation drive soon thereafter and bringing a car full of beds, food and supplies to the shelter. The woman I gave it to at the front desk began to shed a tear. She told me this donation was like Christmas morning to her. I saw shelters in different light from that day forward. They need our help!
In the same light, endurance events might be called our other life passion. JB hiked the entire Pacific Crest Trail, 2700 miles in 2000, in just over 3 months. In 2003, we both began running Ultramarathons (any distance over 26.2 miles). This year alone, JB and I have each run 100 mile races, multiple 100k’s, 50 miles, 50K’s and marathons. So why are we biking this event? This is something that we are not comfortable with. We want to challenge ourselves in a way that pushes our endurance and gives us a chance to cover more ground in a shorter amount of time. We think we can reach more people and SPCA’s this way and it will sure be a lovely ride near the Pacific Ocean. We might hurt a little, get a few flat tires and get lost occasionally. But none of that compares to not having a home, food and a little love like so many animals need.
We feel compelled to give these animals a second chance.
In early October 2009, JB and I lost our rescue dog of 6 years, Mr. Big, to lymphoma. So many people told us that we gave him such a great life and that he was so lucky we rescued him. But in all honesty, Mr. Big rescued us and taught us so much. We will be spreading his ashes when we reach Big Sur, California- his favorite beach area. He inspired this adventure.
JB is the CEO/Founder of Journeyfilm, an outdoor adventure film company that produces documentaries highlighting amazing people, places and events. He is a graduate of USC School of Cinema/Televsion. JB has worked for over 15 years in the Film Industry and will be filming our bike ride.
Jennifer is a critical care business manager for the biopharmaceutical company, The Medicine’s Company. She is a graduate of Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles, where she majored in biological sciences and became fascinated with microbiology.
JB and Jennifer have been married since 2002 and make their home in San Francisco with their two cats, Gracie Belle, Tazzoe and their newly adopted dog, Scooby.