Nonprofit groups receive thousands to help community | NevadaAppeal.com

Nonprofit groups receive thousands to help community

Steve Ranson
LVN Editor Emeritus

While Santa's elves work tirelessly every holiday season to bring joy to children and families for Christmas, his helpers at Fallon Ford Toyota are also working diligently during the year to bring smiles to the area's nonprofit organizations and the people they serve.

In its seven years, the Pay It Forward program is on the verge of breaking a quarter million dollars that Fallon Ford Toyota has donated during the Christmas season. General Manager Tim Mitchell and co-owner Chris Henning recently met recipients upon their arrival to the dealership. Mitchell said Fallon Ford Toyota had organizations remaining from last year's list, while the donation board has included several new nonprofit groups.

Fallon Ford Toyota donates $50 from each sale to one of the charities dependent on the buyer's preference. Based on the donations, Fallon Ford Toyota gave away $49,300 to 15 charities. In the program's first year, the automobile dealership donated $20,900. So far, Fallon Ford Toyota has given away $243,650.

"This makes a positive impact and how it helps others," Mitchell said.

This year, Mitchell said Churchill County 4-H received $6,000, while the William N. Pennington Life Center (senior center) and the Northern Nevada Ronald McDonald Network each receive $5,900.

Mitchell said a new recipient was added this year. The Family in Need Fund, said Mitchell, helped local families who have struggled during the year with tragedy. He added the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, which helps sailors' families with relocation costs, expenses or money for Christmas presents for the children, received a check for $4,550.

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"It all goes straight to the families," Mitchell said.

This is the first year for the Northern Nevada Ronald McDonald Network.

"A lot of families we serve come from Fallon," said Marty Ozer, executive director of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northern Nevada. "This is really amazing, a very nice surprise."

He said the funds will go toward lodging, scholarships for Northern Nevada students and transportation. Ozer also said the Ronald McDonald House has a family room next to the emergency room at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno that includes an area for sleeping.

Kiemmy Boc-Thai, development officer for Renown's Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, said this is the second year she has accepted a check from Fallon Ford Toyota. She said the funds from last year's check purchased iPads that were used for translation.

"We have a pretty high percentage of the Hispanic market that comes through our hospital, and translation becomes a problem," she said. "Instead of looking for translators, we have the iPads that work between the doctors to nurses and parents and patients and nurses."

This year Boc-Thai said no determination has been made for this recent donation.

Mitchell said although the Ronald McDonald House and the Renown Children's Miracle Network are located in Reno, they provide community outreach to the rural counties.

"They are still the closest children's hospital to us," Mitchell said. "If children from Churchill County get sick, they'll wind up at one of their hospitals."

Navy Capt. Robert Kerman, senior instructor of the Churchill County High School Junior ROTC program, said the program will use their check for paying for transportation from the high school to Naval Air Station Fallon for training. He also said the cadets travel to Reno once a year for a major statewide Navy JROTC meet.

Lt. Josh Marran, the cadet corps' executive officer, said students in JROTC also enjoy helping the community with Fallon Daily Bread and Thanksgiving meals.

Karen Moessner, executive director of Domestic Violence Intervention, appreciates the donation.

"We like unrestricted funds," she said, "We use it for gas vouchers at Jackson's because they give money back to the state coalition, use it for bus tickets for them (victims) to leave the area or minor car repairs … if they need to get to work."

Lisa Erquiaga, director of the William N. Pennington Life Center, was surprised at this year's donation of $5,900.

"I was just floored," she said. "It was amazing."

Erquiaga said the funds will help the Wheels on Meals program, which delivers 192 meals, and may also go toward a new truck.

Likewise, Debby Stevens of the Fernley Senior Center said the donation will go toward their March for Meals program.

"We serve 50 home meals in Fernley, and this will go directly to help serve that program," she said.

MAKING THE HOLIDAYS BRIGHTER

Fallon Senior Center $5,900

Fallon Community Theater $1,200

Mayor’s Youth Fund $1,450

WNC Scholarships $1,700

Churchill County Museum $1,450

Churchill County 4-H $6,000

Junior ROTC $1,950

Family in Need Fund $4,150

Fernley Senior Center $1,400

Navy Marine Corps Relief Society $4,550

Domestic Violence Intervention $2,100

N. Nevada Ronald McDonald $5,900

Fallon Youth Club $1,250

CASA $2,100

Renown’s Children’s Miracle Net $5,750