Christmas cheer from Pay It Forward
December 22, 2016
The Henning family loves to see children and adults smile during the holidays.
Co-owner Chris Henning said Fallon Ford Toyota's Pay It Forward program is his family's way of thanking the community and for bringing cheer to the various nonprofit organizations in the area.
"We had our largest donation this year … $44,400," said Henning before the longtime Ford dealership handed out checks and took photos with the group. "In our first year we gave away $20,000, so we have more than doubled the amount."
For six years, Fallon Ford Toyota's Pay It Forward program needs no introduction. It has touched many organizations that use the money to foster their programs.
Kiemmy Boc, who works with the development office for the Children's Miracle Network Hospital at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, said she is appreciative of Fallon Ford Toyota's generosity of $5,800. Children's Miracle Network Hospital received its first check in 2015.
"All the money goes to the immediate needs for the children," she said, adding last year she was able to earmark money for handheld devices that shine light on the extremities to find blood vessels.
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This year, Boc said the Children's Miracle Network Hospital will purchase iPads to help interpreters and families communicate face-to-face with medical personnel.
Customers who purchase either new or pre-owned vehicles designate the desired nonprofit. From March through November, Henning said Fallon Ford Toyota donated $50 from each sale to one of 13 charities depending on the buyer's preference. Although some charities have been on the board since the program began, Henning said others charities over the years.
For example, he said the senior citizen and animal groups such as Churchill Animal Protection Society and the Fallon Animal Welfare Group have been on the board from the beginning. He also said 4-H is a popular group for receiving donations.
"Customers tell us where they want the money to go," Henning said.
In its first year, the program donated $20,900, and this year Fallon Ford Toyota's overall total is near $200,000. Henning added Fallon Ford Toyota is also looking for several new organizations to add to the list and encourages organizations to contact him.
"Bring in your ideas, email or Facebook us," he said.
Leonard Mackedon, a board member with the Fallon Youth Club, said this year's donation of $5,000 supports programs, the meal service and the summer meal program, teen programs, peer groups and after-school counseling.
"We also make sure the students get support after school," Mackedon said.
After taking one group's photo, General Manager Tim Mitchell said the annual event is his favorite day of the year.
"It's a feel-good time," he said.
For other organizations that benefitted from the Pay It Forward program, the annual event brings more than smiles.
"We use it (the amount) to provide meals for our Meals on Wheels program for 55 people," said Debbie Stevens, general manager of the Fernley senior Center. "It is such a nice gift, and it goes a long ways to support our programs."
Churchill County High School Navy JROTC cadets Chad Martyn and Savannah Hughes said the donation will help the cadets attend competitions and leadership academies, visit Navy bases and also college campuses where they can learn more about the Navy.
"I love to see the smiles from the kids and how the money helps them," Mitchell added.
In past years donations helped the Churchill County Senior Center with its Meal on Wheels program; fund more programs for the museum's Discovery Room and digital initiatives; and help the CAPS' veterinarian account to give more vaccinations to the animals.