Boys and Girls Club of Mason Valley becomes hub for human services

Travis Crowder talks about $600,000 worth of improvements recently made to the Yerington club.

Travis Crowder talks about $600,000 worth of improvements recently made to the Yerington club.

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When the Boys and Girls Club of Mason Valley opened to the public in June 2000, the goal was to become self-sustaining.

Though they continue working to achieve that goal, the membership has grown, and the club has become the hub of activity in the small town of Yerington.

"We've opened two satellite clubs," said Travis Crowder, 32, chief professional officer of the club. "They're in Schurz, in a partnership with the Walker River Paiute Tribe, and in Smith Valley at the elementary school."

Schurz, directed by Robert McKenrick, has about 150 registered members; Smith Valley, directed by Donna McDonald, has 50. The Yerington club has 1,700 youth enrolled. Membership is $10 per child per year, ages 6-18.

"Membership is pretty good considering there are fewer than 10,000 people living in the valley."

The club recently completed a renovation project of more than $600,000 by adding a full-service commercial kitchen, with most donations coming from Rafter 7 Ranch.

"This is to serve the kids of the club," Crowder said. "We serve after-school snacks every day, and during summer and school breaks, serve a full breakfast and lunch. And it's all free. Not just for club kids, but any kid who comes in and wants a meal."

The club became an emergency shelter for Lyon County. In addition, they operate the local food bank.

"We distribute food to more than 200 needy seniors and low-income families. The food is provided by the Food Bank of Northern Nevada and we recently received seven mail carts full of food from the postal carriers food drive. Good thing we have new cold and dry storage areas."

They also operate a thrift store, "The Attic," managed by Linda Beal. All proceeds go to the Boys and Girls Club.

The club holds a summer concert as a fundraiser, which has turned into its biggest. This year's "Night in the Country" concert on July 29 features Neal McCoy, SHeDAISY and Rockie Lynne.

Tickets are $20 each and are available in Carson City at International Minute Press and the Boys and Girls Club, or by calling (775) 463-5114. Gates open at 5 and the show is at 6 p.m.

"This is a huge community event and everyone is involved," Crowder said. "It has become a weekend full of events for the Mason Valley Onion Festival. In addition to our concert, there is a pancake breakfast Saturday, barbecue, softball tournament, bingo, boxing, a chili cookoff and a Friday night concert featuring local bands and a whole lot more. It's really awesome."

Crowder gives much of the credit of the club's success in its short lifespan to the 19-member board of directors, led by Toni Reviglio, president.

"This community is 100 percent involved," Crowder said. "Our goal is to strengthen our budget and get our feet firmly on the ground. To be stronger, fiscally.

"I think we have worked so well because we are more than a Boys and Girls Club. We are available for other nonprofits to hold fundraisers, birthday parties, dances, karate classes, mostly because of the kitchen.

"And for the parents of our kids, we are a safe place for them to be."

Crowder's two sons, Tommy, 8, and Spencer, 5, are members and visit the club every day. Crowder has been with Boys and Girls clubs for 13 years.

"We are trying to better ourselves with the community outreach. Our budget has quadrupled in five years, but the community understands and supports us, too. We work closely with the other clubs in Northern Nevada."

• Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at or 881-1223.

If you go

WHAT: Night in the Country concert

WHEN: 5 p.m., July 29

WHERE: Lyon County Fairgrounds, 27 S. Main St.

COST: $20 per ticket

TICKETS AVAILABLE: International Minute Press, Boys and Girls Club in Carson City; Western Nevada Supply, Reno; Scolaris, Yerington; Financial Horizons Credit Union, Hawthorne and Fallon; Maverick Finance, Fallon; Renner Equipment, Smith Valley and Fallon; Silverado Casino, Fernley

CALL: (775) 463-5114


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