Reno-Tahoe Open Foundation donates $13,000 to two Carson City agencies

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The Children's Museum of Northern Nevada hit a hole-in-one, receiving $6,000 in funding from the Reno-Tahoe Open Foundation. With the grant, visiting kids at the museum will enjoy the Make-It Move exhibit this October, pushing, pulling, and spinning its parts.

"It will have a little crane, pulleys and gears and all kinds of fun things," said Executive Director Denise Sins.

The children's museum depends primarily on grants for its exhibits. A private nonprofit facility, neither the city or state provides financial support to the museum.

"I was glad to get it," Sins said. "It was one of the easier grants. They had basically approached us. It was great. It was really wonderful. It's nice to have that kind of support."

The ever-so-popular dinosaur exhibit will be leaving the museum shortly and Sins will bring in the new with the Make-It Move exhibit from the Portland Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

"I was just thrilled," Sins said of the grant. "We are absolutely ecstatic. It will help us fulfill our mission."

Jim Kline, who oversees the Open, said he is responsible for examination of each grant proposal. He passes them on to the Foundation Board, which makes a decision based on what agencies will get the most bang out of a donated buck.

"We saw that the children's museum would really do a lot of stuff," Kline said. "We're ready to help an agency where we're really able to make an impact."

The Open also passed the buck along to one more Carson City organization, Carson Advocates for Cancer Care, with a grant of $5,000.

Advocates Executive Director and breast-cancer survivor Kari Larson knows what its like to need the group's services.

When trays of food became to heavy for her to lift at her waitressing job due to her cancer, she looked for support and financial assistance, eventually finding the Advocates.

And now, as executive director of the nonprofit agency, she is excited about the donation. With at least $15,000 a month spent on more than 60 patients, the donation will help cover the costs of pain medications, treatments for cancer-related care and gas vouchers.

"We try to be a bridge between other resources and free up money to pay rent and other bills," said Larson. "Collection agencies can hound patients for bills. And some patients can't even get out of bed. To be able to pay $35 a month provides dignity to the patients and keeps them from running from reality. We're really grateful for what we received."

The PGA sponsored event costs approximately $6 million to run, including provision for a $3 million purse. Kline said every penny outside of operating costs and salaries benefits local agencies. However, the Open is seeking a prominent sponsor, outside of businesses in the area, to keep the event going.

"I feel upset that the RTO may be extinct because they don't have a sponsor," said Larson. "They are really vital to ongoing businesses. I would like to back them in putting a word out for a sponsor."

The open donated $125,000 to 16 organizations from the 2001 Open. More than $675,000 has been donated since the PGA golf tournament began in 1999.


-- The Reno-Tahoe Open Aug. 19-25 at Montreux Golf and Country Club in Reno. Look at

-- The Children's Museum offers a Saturday, Aug. 17 fund-raising event, including fingerprinting, face painting, and a chance to dunk Mayor Ray Masayko.

-- To volunteer for Carson Advocates for Cancer Care, call 775-883-7477.

-- The Advocates do not have a warehouse for donations, but appreciates cash donations. Call toll free at (866) 810-2273. Credit cards are accepted.

-- The next Advocates fund-raiser is the Winter Wine and all that Jazz at the Carson Nugget, Jan. 11, 2003, Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m.


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