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Fallon Ford-Toyota plays Santa Claus

By Steve Ranson

Pay It Forward program awards more than $30,000 to nonprofit groups

For a time in late March, owner Chris Henning of Fallon Ford-Toyota was concerned the company’s Pay It Forward might be a temporary casualty of the coronavirus pandemic restrictions.

“We weren’t sure if we could continue the program,” Henning said.

Restrictions, though, eased up on businesses including automobile dealerships in June, and the sun began to peak through the clouds with more optimism. Henning said he was certain Fallon Ford-Toyota could continue the program for 2020.



The dealership donated $30,100 to 11 nonprofit organizations, and since 2011, the longtime business on West Williams Avenue has donated $361,650.

“It wasn’t as good as in the past, but we’re really proud of what we did,” he said, adding next year’s goal will be set at $50,000.



Pay It Forward

Pay it Forward

Jarbidge Fire Dept. $5,000

Domestic Violence Intervention $1,550

CASA $5,000

Family in Need Fund $3,200

Fallon Youth Athletics $1,750

Fallon Youth Club $1,200

ROTC $1,700

William N. Pennington Life Center $5,000

Fallon 4-H $5,000

Renown Children’s Network $2,400

Fallon Rodeo Club $1,350

Henning said the program narrowed the number of its nonprofit organizations so the groups who needed the funds the most could receive additional money. Another recipient was the Family in Need fund, whereby two families split $3,200. The Pay it Forward program donates $50 from each vehicle sale to the buyer’s choice of a nonprofit group from a specified list. During this year’s presentation day, the staff had their photos taken with the checks instead of the recipients to limit the number of people gathering in the showroom, and Henning said the checks were mailed out. The restrictions on gatherings and social distancing took away another aspect of presenting the checks in person. Both Henning and Mitchell said they enjoy meeting people and talking to them.

Henning, though, said Fallon Ford-Toyota couldn’t conduct its program without the help of the community.

“It’s an honor and privilege to give back and take care of this community,” Henning said.

For four programs, Henning said Toyota will donate additional money to roundup the final figures.

Henning said the Pay It Forward program likes to help organizations that make a difference in their communities. For example, he said the Jarbidge Volunteer Fire Department desperately needed new apparatus. General Manager Tim Mitchell said every dollar helps, and added a number of organizations were drastically affected by COVID-19.

Two of the organizations that will receive $5,000 are Churchill County 4-H and the CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) program.

“Getting that support from Fallon Ford-Toyota is a great gift,” said Karen Bogdanowicz, a community based instructor and 4-H director with the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. “I told Tim (Mitchell) I was so surprised and grateful.”

Bogdanowicz said the county’s 4-H program includes about 160 children, down a little because of the pandemic.

Sue Sevon, the court administrator for the Tenth Judicial District Court in Fallon, said CASA is a court-administered program. Although some of the program are funded by the county, the Mary Sauer Toy Closet relies on donations.

“Mary always felt every child should have a special toy,” Sevon said.

Sauer died in January in an rollover crash.

Sevon said the CASA program, like several others in Churchill County, ensured the area’s children had a Christmas. In addition to the Pay It Forward check, Sevon said the community has also been helpful with donations. She expressed her appreciation to Fallon Ford-Toyota and any others for their generosity this Christmas.

“We’ve had more people in need than we have had because of COVID-19,” Sevon said.