Governor’s mansion invaded by elves | NevadaAppeal.com

Governor’s mansion invaded by elves

PETER THOMPSON

A pair of elves stood on each side of Mountain Street outside the Governor’s Mansion on Friday, directing traffic with industrial-grade, arrow-tipped candy canes. They pointed vehicles toward the main cul-de-sac, which had been turned into a festive drive-through for the Advocates to End Domestic Violence’s annual holiday food drop-off.

As cars pulled up, swarms of volunteers descended on the vehicles to help unload grocery bags full of canned goods, toys, toiletries and other necessities needed to run the 52-bed shelter.

For their efforts, drivers were rewarded with candy canes from Santa and doggie biscuits for mutts riding shotgun.

Lisa Lee, director of the Advocates to End Domestic Violence was optimistic. “This is our main food drive. Hopefully, this stuff will last us until sometime in the Spring,” she said. “We seem to be doing really well, so far. We’ve had tremendous help from all our volunteers.”

Lee and others had been worried after the early winter weather that there might be trouble from Mother Nature. “We were crossing our fingers and praying to every god,” she said. “But we couldn’t have gotten a nicer day.”

The Carson City faction had been challenged by the group collecting from Douglas County to see who could come up with the most pounds of donated food.

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As a news team from Channel 2 KTVN cut in and out for live coverage, a volunteer pushed a loaded-down mail cart full of food across the pavement to a waiting rental truck, the cart’s wheels grinding and rattling displeasure on the pavement.

“It’s been pretty steady,” said Advocates parenting coordinator, Tracy White, dressed as one of the traffic elves.

Earlier, children from Fremont, Seeliger, and Bordewich-Bray elementary schools had come by to drop off items and stand on the steps of the mansion and sing carols.

Lee said the mansion was the ideal place to do the drive, as it helped to bring out the people.

“This is a great town,” echoed volunteer Andy Anderson, one of the many Rotarians lending a hand. “What other city in America can you drive right up to the Governor’s Mansion like this? Only in a community like Carson City.”

“A lady came by who was in the shelter three years ago and gave a very nice donation,” said Lee.

“If it keeps going at this pace, we’ll be ahead of last year,” she said.

As the first truck filled up, the door was pulled down, secured and driven off to the shelter where volunteers from a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints youth group were waiting and ready to sort the items into groups.

Volunteer coordinator Traci Trenoweth said there were some 125 volunteers taking part in the effort this year, not including some 30 or so down at the shelter.

“Without our volunteers, our agency wouldn’t be what it is today,” she said.

Other groups helping out included the St. Paul’s Lutheran Youth Group and the local chapter of the Raiders Booster Club.

Contact reporter Peter Thompson at pthompson@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1215.