Families turn branches into reindeer | NevadaAppeal.com
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Families turn branches into reindeer

BRIAN DUGGAN
bduggan@nevadaappeal.com

With power tools and pumpkin bread in hand, a few families came to the Carson Mall on Saturday to make their own reindeer out of branches of willow trees.

The organizer of the event, “Willow” Bill Goulardt, said there will be more classes on Wednesday and Thursday. For times he said to call him at 775-842-3594.

Among the participants was Barb Jacobson, who with her two daughters and mother spent the morning piecing together their reindeer, which is sturdy enough to support an adult.

“I’m just excited after doing it in my classroom,” said Jacobson, who teaches at Jacks Valley Elementary School. “I want one in my yard.”

Her daughter, Jillyan, 11, said she enjoyed the project.

“I thought it was a good idea,” she said. “I thought it was cool.”

Alicia Juarez, 7, came to make a reindeer with her sister, brother and mother on Saturday.

“I think it’s really fun to make reindeer because you get to put them outside and put them in your house,” Alicia said. “And you can put lights on it and put decorations on it.”

Goulardt started constructing the reindeer out of branches of willow trees 13 years ago.

Today he’s taking the project to dozens of classrooms in the region, lining the reindeer up along Highway 395 from the University of Nevada, Reno campus to the Nevada and California border.

“We look at this as a total community project,” he said. “I’ve been going into the schools for 13 years; I go to 26 different elementary schools in Northern Nevada.”

He said he’ll start a mule deer program next spring for classrooms that couldn’t participate in the reindeer program. His website is http://www.willowbill.com.

Goulardt said Paul Schat’s Bakery donated milk, cookies and pumpkin bread for the event on Saturday.