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Hometown Heroes kicks off celebrations

Steve Ranson
sranson@lahontanvalleynews.com

The community’s first celebration of Nevada’s sesquicentennial kicks off Saturday with a wide range of activities from meeting Hometown Heroes to walking the track to support the cancer research efforts of relay for Life.

Some of the country’s top athletes who lived and attended school in Fallon return for a fun run and walk to benefit Churchill County athletics and commemorate the Nevada’s 150th birthday. The local athletes will assist with the fun run and walk that also includes a “field day.” Registration is now open at Active.com with divisions for adults and children.

Participating athletes include record-breaking professional softball player Jodi Dolan, NCAA volleyball national champion Jennifer Hucke, NFL player Josh Mauga, professional golfer Scott Smith, former WNBA player and NCAA champion Paige Sauer and Olympic triple jumper Aarik Wilson.

Jade Corkill originally committed to the Fallon event, but he will be competing in team roping at the same time at the Reno Rodeo.

“This event is an amazing opportunity to celebrate and encourage an active, fit lifestyle while also helping Churchill County athletes offset some of the costs associated with playing sports,” said Tim Mitchell, event organizer. “These Hometown Heroes are all former Churchill County athletes, and we’re so proud that they have decided to help spread the message of positivity and fitness.”

A Nevada stamp dedication begins at 11 a.m. at the Old Fallon Post Office on North Maine Street, and five minutes later, Pony Express riders arrive at the post office to deliver mail.

Rick Gray, executive director of the Fallon Convention and Tourism Authority, said the stamp is being issued by the U.S. Postal Service, and the ceremony will include remarks from a member of the state’s NV150 Commission, Mayor Ken Tedford Jr., the Fallon postmaster and the stamp artists.

A reception follows. Gray said the Hearts Of Gold Quilters will have a NV150 Quilt on display as well.

The stamp celebrates the 150th anniversary of Nevada, which became the 36th state on Oct. 31, 1864.

Although the ceremony to unveil the stamp occurred last month, Saturday’s dedication is being held in conjunction with the year-long celebrations coordinated by the Nevada 150 Sesquicentennial Commission.

The stamp art depicts a close-up view of an area in Fire Canyon — part of Valley of Fire — Nevada’s oldest state park. The painting is an oil-on-Masonite panel. Captured by Reno Nevada artist Ron Spears at dawn, the sandstone formations glow in shades of brilliant reds and yellows — a result of various quantities of iron in the rock — highlighted by deep purple and blue shadows.

During the afternoon between 1-4 p.m., a Wells Fargo stagecoach will transport riders around Oats Park.

Oats Park will also be the location of the year’s first free concert in the park sponsored by the city of Fallon.

Max Baca and Los Texmaniacs will perform on the Centennial Stage in Oats Park near the Churchill Art Center. The center’s galleries and Art Bar will be open following the performance.

The group prides itself on performing “hip music everyone can relate to,” a combination of Tex-Mex conjunto along with some Texas rock, blues and new versions of old time country favorites. The band was founded by Max Baca, who performs on the large bajo sexto and contributes vocals to the mix.

The annual Relay for Life kicks off its annual event from 5 p.m. on Saturday to 8 a.m. on Sunday at the high school track.

The overall aim of Relay for Life centers on the present and future as money raised will continue to help victims and also to find a cure for some strains of cancer. Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society’s annual fight against cancer. Participants remember those who died from cancer and honor those who have fought the disease and won. More than 3,000 communities in the United States and its territories stage Relay for Life events.

Organizers said about 30 percent of the money raised in Fallon stays in the community. Other funds go to the American Cancer Society for research and to assist those stricken with cancer.