Mervyns rings up holiday cheer for Washoe kids |

Mervyns rings up holiday cheer for Washoe kids

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Tristen Dressler, 7, picks out slippers with her mother, Lovana, during the Childspree shopping spree at Mervyns on Saturday morning. Tristen's family is from the Woodfords Washoe colony.

Most weekends, 7-year-old Tristen Dressler is up watching cartoons at 7 a.m. and hasn’t even thought about what she is wearing that day.

But Saturday morning, her focus wasn’t on the television; it was set on getting as close to her $100 spending limit as possible.

Dressler was one of 23 children from four Washoe Tribe colonies selected to participate in the Childspree shopping event at Mervyns.

Childspree is a national campaign run by Mervyns in which needy children pick out free new clothes, shoes and coats during the holidays. The corporation funds the program by donating the proceeds from selling Sprockets stuffed dolls and art sets.

Nationally, more than 5,500 children will take part in the program, which allows them $100 and a 15 percent discount at the store.

“We want to help give back to the community. This is the first holiday Childspree we have done. We also do one for back-to-school,” said Valerie Wolverton, Carson City Mervyns assistant manager.

Sherry Smokey, Washoe Tribe education director, said, “The teachers helped select children who could benefit from the clothes. It’s not toys they are buying, it’s clothes and shoes and coats.”

With $93 worth of merchandise selected, Tristen went in search of something to get her closer to her limit. Then, hanging on a rack right at her eye level, she found it in the form of fuzzy purple slippers.

Across the aisle, Dion Mortimer, 8, was rifling through a rack of football jerseys looking for the right one – an Atlanta Falcons No. 7, like the one Michael Vick wears.

By 7:45 a.m., 7-year-old Talaya Dutchy had already hit her limit and was hauling around a large Mervyns bag filled with her bounty.

“I don’t remember what I got. All I remember is that I got some brown shoes and brown boots. Those are my favorites,” Talaya said.

Talaya said the spree took care of a lot of her Christmas list, but there was still one thing she wanted.

“I want some Heelys for Christmas. I need my own so I stop stealing my brother’s,” Talaya said.

Children from the Stewart, Woodfords, Carson and Dresslerville colonies participated in the Childspree.

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at or 881-1217.