Carson Country Make-a-Wish fund-raiser brings in big money

Jack Fleming got quite a return on his $5 outlay at the Carson Farmer's Market.

He won a car.

Fleming, a Gardnerville resident who was strolling through the market this past July, saw the Make-A-Wish Foundation's fund-raiser display. The organization was raffling off a 1992 Saturn as part of its Evening of Wine and Roses event.

"I thought, well, that's neat," said Fleming. So he bought one ticket.

A few days later, he got a phone call from Marilyn Koschella, CEO of the Carson Douglas Fallon Lyon Tahoe Board of Realtors, telling him his ticket was the winner.

"What really blew me away was that I'd been tempted to buy more, but didn't," said Fleming. "I was quite surprised."

Fleming is one of eight businessmen who set up Nevada Center for Vocational Education and Research, a nonprofit organization that promotes using technology in construction. He decided to donate the car to the business, and Executive Director Byron Waite isn't complaining.

"I never look a gift horse in the mouth," he said with a chuckle.

Waite heads the nonprofit, which teaches workers how to use nontraditional materials and methods in home building. Students in the program have built a 10,000-square-foot building at the China Spring Youth Camp for active seniors and high-functioning mentally challenged residents.

The Make-A-Wish fund-raiser this year netted more than $38,000, said Koschella, which makes it a record-breaker. The Board of Realtors puts on the fund-raiser every year.

The car was donated by Dick Campagni of Capitol Ford, who believes in giving back to the community.

"Having four kids of my own, I really enjoy helping out organizations that help children," said Campagni.

Fleming shares that civic philosophy.

"He cast his bread upon the waters, and now we're casting ours," he said.


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