Community comes together for some 11th-hour support |

Community comes together for some 11th-hour support

by Karel Ancona-Henry
Nevada Appeal News Service
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Aidan Howe, 6, of Dayton, eats a candy cane at the Community Roots Christmas celebration on Saturday.

Community Roots in Dayton was bustling with activity Saturday, as folks turned out for a Hometown Christmas, to benefit area children this holiday season.

Proceeds from all tree, garland, wreath and refreshment sales will be used to buy toys for more than 200 children and monies from photos with Santa will help Lucky Horse Rescue Corral.

The days’ events included Stuff-the Cop-Car, an on-site toy collection, courtesy of the Lyon County Sheriff’s Department and manned by Officer Ryan Powell.

“People have asked if it’s really that dangerous here,” he said. “I tell them I’m Santa’s protection.”

The Dayton area toy drive is falling short of what’s needed, in part because of a fire in Carson City on Dec. 2 damaged a Toys for Tots storage area. That might prevent Toys for Tots from being able to have toys available for distribution in Dayton.

“We don’t require any proof; we just go on a trust basis,” said Wendy Madson of Community Roots and organizer of the toy drive and Hometown Christmas. “Come in and we’ll help.”

Applications are available at area schools and must be returned to the Community Center, 170 Pike St., by Thursday.

During the Hometown Christmas, people were not only buying greenery and trees, but were donating above the asking price.

Erik and Christie Fernquest and their son Everett came down to support the drive, donating one of the gifts originally intended for their son, a Black & Decker Tool set.

“It’s good to help kids that don’t have as much,” Erik said, explaining to Everett the importance of giving.

Mrs. Claus also was on hand, waving at passers-by and helping customers.

“It’s that time of year to give of yourself and it makes you feel good,” said Mickey Claus. “Running around with these kids, hearing their stories. Look in their faces, there it is.

“And after all, I am Mrs. Claus.”

The children also there understood what the day was about.

“It was snowing and we stayed out in it, which felt like Christmas,” said Aidan Howe, 6, of Dayton.

“I would say today is important because there are people that don’t have homes and stuff and we can help.”

“(At Christmas) we come together, give to one another and be kindful,” said Makenna Olsen, 8, of Dayton. “It’s time to be with family and to be thankful.”

Area businesses have made room for donation barrels, located at Lyon County Utilities, Dayton Valley Learning Center, Roadrunner Cafe, Subway, Coldwell Banker, Pizza Factory, Greater Nevada Credit Union, the UPS Store, $1 Tree, Legado and Stor-All, all in Dayton.

“There have been a lot of requests for clothing and if anyone would like to adopt a family, they can contact me for information,” Madson said. “Hopefully people will come out and help at the 11th hour.”

For Santa, that’s what the day spent in cold and participation by each person is all about.

“Things are tight this year,” he said. “If you can’t see (how your actions are) helping others, there’s no point.”

For more information about donating, sponsoring a family or for an application, call Healthy Communities at 246-7550. Wendy Madson can be reached at 250-7884.

• Karel Ancona-Henry can be reached at or at 246-4000.