Organizations seeking funds for holiday programs

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Local organizations are making their October push for their respective causes.

The Wreaths Across America (WAA) event conducted on the third Saturday of December is seeing a reduction in contributions because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Brett Palmer, president of the Nevada Veterans Coalition in Fernley, said the biggest WAA ceremony is conducted at the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery. This year’s remembrance is Dec. 19 beginning at 9 a.m.

“We’re doing the best we can,” Palmer said of the fundraising drive.

The coalition received a donation from the Nevadans 4 Vets golf tournament, but Palmer said another golf tournament was canceled. Each year the golf tournament generates enough funding for 1,000 wreaths. Palmer added the Fern 45 poker run, which generates thousands of dollars, also was canceled. This year, he said organizations are not allowed to solicit for donations in front of Raley’s or Walmart.

The NNVMC is one of two state veterans’ cemeteries. The other is located in Boulder City. Every year, Palmer said the NVC seeks donations to buy wreaths for more than 8,000 veterans who are interred at the cemetery. He said the cemetery adds upward to 400 veterans who have died during the calendar year.

Lisa Devall said more than 1,300 wreaths will be required at the Churchill County Cemetery. She said sponsorship levels for each cemetery are individual or $15 for one wreath; family, four wreaths, $60; small business, 10 wreaths, $150; and corporate, 100 wreaths for $1,500.

To order a wreath for the NNVMC event, go to and click on Wreaths Across America for the pdf form, or mail your donation to: Nevada Veterans Coalition; P.O. Box 415; Fernley, Nevada, 89408.

To order for Fallon, go to The group ID is NV0063, and the location ID is NVCHCC. Devall said it’s imperative to enter the group and location IDs so the wreaths may be earmarked for Fallon.


The deadline to return applications for the 2020 Wishing Tree program is 5 p.m. on Oct. 20. The program accepts applications from families who meet income and residency requirements and seek help in providing gifts for their children this holiday season.

CC Communications Independent Telecommunications Pioneer Association, Churchill County Social Services and community members ensure Wishing Tree meets the needs of families in need.

Applications may be picked up in person from the Social Services Office, 485 W. B St., Suite 105 in Fallon during normal business hours. Ring the bell for assistance.

According to Churchill County, the wishing trees will be placed in various locations in closer to the holidays. “Those wanting to help should pull a child’s ornament from the tree for basic information like age, gender and clothing size to aid in their shopping,” the county said.

The annual Toys for Tots campaign campaigned kicked off on Oct. 1, but local organizers are hopeful the community’s generosity will lead to the program meeting 100% of its goal.

Orville “Junior” Wempner said the need for toys is always present.

According the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves’ mission statement, the Toys for Tots Program collects new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year. Volunteers then distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.

Wempner, a retired Marine, said the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves will collect toys for both the Reno-Sparks and Carson City area, and local Marines will gather toys for distribution and wrap them for Fallon, Fernley, Lovelock and parts of Silver Springs.

Normally, the Toys for Tots program begins raising donations in August, beginning first at the Fallon Cantaloupe Festival. Because of the festival’s cancelation due to COVID-19, he said the Marines entered the Fourth of July and Labor Day parades to remind residents of the program.

Wempner said Toys for Tots boxes will be placed in key locations around the area. Normally, volunteers man a truck in front of Walmart, but Wempner said the store asked the Marines to set up on the west side near the grocery loading area.

Storage for this year’s toys collection will be at V Titans on North Maine Street. Wempner said the distribution will be handled differently because of COVID-19. Once an order is filled, he said arrangements will be made to distribute the toys to the requesting family.


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