Chime in and donate for the clock project

The group spearheading the Clock Chimes Project had drummed up $5,000 in their effort to give a voice to the clock at the Paul Laxalt State Building .

Only 13 days after kicking off a fund-raising effort, enough money was contributed by area residents to order and prepare for installation of the electronic chime speakers.

Bill and Dottie Kelley, who've fostered the chime project, said about $6,000 is still needed to fund the chimes.

"Everyone has responded so wonderfully," Dottie Kelley said. "Everybody is so excited about it. We're very, very optimistic that we'll have the remainder of the money soon."

Aside from people mailing donations to the state Landmark Society, the Kelley's have canvassed Carson City seeking donations to the cause. Dottie joked that Bill has worn the leather off his shoes going door to door for donations.

"Everybody thinks this is a great thing for Carson City," Bill Kelley said of the people who've donated to the project. "They're all excited that there's going to be carols for the holiday and think it's great that 'Home Means Nevada' could be played on Nevada Day."

Johnson Lane residents Bob and Verne Wellman collect old clocks, and when they heard about the chime project they were eager to donate. They donated $500 to the project.

"We have quite a collection of clocks," Bob Wellman said. "We thought it would be a nice thing to do. The clock kind of reminds us of other places we've seen in the world."

Verne Wellman said she has loved clocks since her childhood when her grandfather worked with clocks. She grew up in Southern California and said the chime project was a neat way to get people involved in the community.

"I'm really very, very excited," she said. "I think it's wonderful that the community gets behind those projects.

"When everybody is involved, it makes people very proud of their community. A lot of people can't afford to donate a lot. I guess I come from the old school where dimes make quarters, quarters make dollars, dollars make $10. It's a way of contributing to the community and a worthwhile cause."

Joel Mitchell, owner of the Old Mint Coin and Bullion, said he donated to the chimes project partially because the building is only two blocks south of his business and he said he's excited to hear the chimes.

"Let's get this thing going," Mitchell said. "It's just neat. I hope they run the chimes every hour through the daylight hours and it would be great for special events. Anything that will help the downtown area for our tourists and the people to come and enjoy downtown is great."

Chime speakers are being shipped and should be installed by the end of next week, said clock repairmen Lee Carter and Bill Hartman. The two men are donating their time to install the wiring and speaker system for the project.

"This is going to build a lot of community pride and be a great tourist attraction," Carter said.

The speakers haven't arrived, but the two former engineers have already found crawl spaces in the ceiling of the old building that will allow them to install the speakers in an old ventilation duct.

"We hope people make some more donations so we can get this thing in place by Nevada Day," Hartman said. "It's not very often that people have the opportunity to make a visible difference in their community that they can show friends and family."


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