Boys & Girls Club gets unexpected donation

By Dave Frank

Appeal Staff Writer

The Boys & Girls Club of Western Nevada has almost enough money to finish its new building thanks to a posthumous donation from a Carson City businessman.

Frank Snopko died at age 89 on Sunday, leaving $100,000 to the club and thousands more to other organizations. He built and owned the city's first bowling alley, Carson Lanes, and also built the Hardman House hotel.

Jason Woodbury, president of the club's board of directors, said this will give the club almost enough money to finish the new building at Russell Way and Northridge Drive.

Work started on the 12,600-square-foot club in fall 2005. It is scheduled to open in around June 2009.

The club and the city are planning a joint-use agreement between the club and the city's $9 million recreation center.

"This is just an unexpected gift out of the blue," Woodbury said.

The club has about 1,600 children and teenagers as members. It runs education, social and mentor programs through its South Stewart building now.

The club raised about $235,000 for operating the organization at a fundraiser this month.

Snopko additionally left $100,000 to Carson City to be divided between the library, the senior citizen center, the parks and recreation department and the Community Council on Youth. He left $20,000 to the Carson Advocates for Cancer Care, a private group, as well.

The money given to the city will be put in special funds for the departments that will decide what to spend the money on later, according to City Manager Larry Werner.

"That way, it doesn't get lost in our general activities," Werner said.

Paula Rudolph, treasurer of Carson Advocates for Cancer Care, said the money is a "shot in the arm" for her group after losing a state grant this year.

The group spends about $200,000 thousand a year, most of it going to the about 60 uninsured patients.

Bob Thrower, a friend of Snopko's, said the businessman was always generous and concerned about children and teenagers.

Snopko moved to Carson City 31 years ago. He was born in Tacoma, Wash., and raised on a farm.

• Contact reporter Dave Frank at dfrank@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.

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