Gardnerville grads save cans for charity |

Gardnerville grads save cans for charity

by Susie Vasquez, Appeal Staff Writer

With a simple idea and a lot of gumption, recent Douglas High School graduates Allison Hughes and Sara Henningsen collected $1,000 for Carson Advocates for Cancer Care. The women were recognized for their efforts by the Advocates on Wednesday.

“Without the support of clubs, organizations and people like these, we couldn’t help as many as we do,” said Jon Coats, Advocates program director.

Hughes was animated when she talked about this Community Service Project, completed through the Future Business Leaders of America, a national association, of which both women are members.

“We made half the money from collecting cans,” Hughes said. “The other half came from donations collected at the Douglas County Christmas Craft Fair.”

With other club members, Hughes and Henningsen spent weekends collecting cans at grocery stores all over Douglas County then sold them to Douglas Disposal Inc. for 35 cents a pound.

When asked what $500 worth of cans looks like, Hughes rolled her eyes.

“Words cannot express,” she said. “We had three pickup trucks full of cans from just one drive.”

The pair conducted large drives in January, February and April. Douglas Disposal donated a six-ton Dumpster for the project, paying them 8 cents over the going rate; and PolyPhaser Corp. in Minden donated a lot of cans, Hughes said.

“It’s amazing, to see how much this community cares,” Henningsen said.

“Things went a little slow at first, but once people found out what we were doing, they responded,” Hughes said. “Coordinating everything was hard, but I’d like to do more. It was enjoyable.”

They graduated from Douglas High School with honors this year. Hughes was a valedictorian, and Henningsen was salutatorian. They will attend the University of Nevada, Reno, this fall.

Carson Advocates For Cancer Care, a volunteer-staffed nonprofit organization, serves about 95 cancer patients in 11 rural Nevada counties, Carson City and parts of eastern California. It works to defray the costs of prescription medicines, treatments and related care.

In addition to the money collected at annual fund-raisers like the Stroke for Hope golf tournament in October and Winter, Wine & All That Jazz in January, Advocates received $160,000 from tobacco grant funding in June, the money to be disbursed through June 2004.

For information, go to or call 883-7477.