Carson City group grilling up support for a good cause |

Carson City group grilling up support for a good cause

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer
Kevin Clifford/Nevada Appeal Kevin Brady, left, rebounds a volleyball Saturday while teammates Ryan Philippi and Matt Hoerth, right, guard the sides during a volleyball match at the Summer Slam at 500 N. Mountain Street. The event was hosted by The Carson City Active 20-30 club and the proceeds are set to go to Friends of Special Children, a nonprofit organization to help the families with young special-needs children.

The Carson City Active 20-30 Club hoped to raise $10,000 from their Summer Slam event Saturday night. It appeared they had a good chance of succeeding, after all they had $9,000 in the bank even before the event started.

“We try to do at least four fundraising events a year for different organizations,” Duston Thompson, club secretary, said.

The proceeds from the Summer Slam are set to go to Friends of Special Children, a nonprofit organization that helps families with young children with special needs. Friends assists in everything from basic needs like food and clothing to more personalized training and workshops for parents.

They also hold monthly family fun nights for the more than 600 families they have helped in Northern Nevada.

“We do the family fun nights because they sometimes forget about being a family. So it allows them to watch the kids have fun and remember that they are a family,” said Denise Lavelle, executive director.

The organization’s goal is to give families dealing with special needs the skills and tools to become self-sufficient, according to Lavelle.

“Even though we have been around since the 1980s, we are relatively unknown but we are trying to change that. We’ve always had a wonderful outpouring of support from our sponsors and the communities,” Lavelle said.

The club was also collecting donations for 3-year-old AnnMarie De Pasquale, who is battling cancer.

For club member April Conway, being a member of the 20-30 Club offers a unique opportunity for people ages 20 to 39.

“There aren’t a lot of social opportunities for this age group,” Conway said. “The 20-30 Club is a good social outlet and gives the opportunity for us to help.”

The Carson City club was formed in 1967-68 but disbanded for many years until it was revitalized in 2005.

Suzi (Foltz) Kaufman, 58, of Carson City, remembers the club the first time it was formed because her ex-husband was a member.

“It’s odd to see it come back, but I am glad that it is. They are very community-service oriented and do a lot of good things,” Kaufman said.

The Summer Slam event featured sand volleyball and Beer Pong tournaments, free samples of beer and barbecue and music from the Sacramento-based Reggae Band, Zion Roots.

“We decided to do the volleyball tournament to get a niche that will hopefully catch on and allow us to do it again,” Thompson said.

Previous fundraisers included serving as guest bar tenders at Stew’s Sportatorium to raise money for the Second Chance Fund.

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at or 881-1217.