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Outreach formed to help community

Rhonda Costa-Landers, Appeal Staff Writer

Gordon Hawkins has given a lot of thought to his organization.

He wanted Silver Hawk Community Outreach to assist with various needs. He also wanted community outreach projects to be centered around the performing arts.

“This will take several months to get into place,” Hawkins said. “And we’ll be limited to the number of projects per year. But these projects will give people who are volunteering a chance to perform, and the community benefits from the program.”

Gordon and his wife, Donna, have scheduled free concerts for Dec. 15 and 16 at the Carson City Community Center. The project is called “Night of Miracles.” The organization they have selected to assist is Toys for Tots.

“Donna and I were discussing who we could help, and she said, ‘Why not Toys for Tots? You’re a former Marine.’ So I said I’d look into it.

“I called Dave (Wyble, Tri-County Toys for Tots Carson City area coordinator) in April and told him who we were and what we were doing. And he said yes. So we filed for 501 (C3) status, and everything is OK and ready to go.”

The Hawkins’ vision grew after doing a similar program for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The project is nondenominational and not affiliated with a religious organization.

Other than the Nevada Railroad Museum hosting the annual Santa Train, in which toys are collected in exchange for a ride, Wyble said no other organization hosts a similar drive for Toys for Tots.

“The railroad museum has been very good to us,” Wyble said. “But this project is the first of this magnitude offered for the Toys for Tots program. We’re real excited about it.”

Donations collected at the concerts could potentially double the number of toys received. Last year, Toys for Tots distributed more than 4,500 toys in Carson City.

The concerts will feature an orchestra and a choir. Hawkins is seeking members of the community, including high school students studying voice and music, to be part of the project.

“A community orchestra and choir will be on stage at the same time,” Gordon said. “Several people have signed up, and some have expressed interest. We need musicians, especially strings, and basses and tenors for the choir. We will also mix in a children’s choir so we need kids ages 8 to 11.”

Rehearsals begin the end of this month. Volunteers are asked to commit one day a week for rehearsal until the concerts.

Gordon Hawkins said he will cut off entry into the choir at 100. The music will range from moderate to difficult. Selections are well-known Christmas carols and cantata arrangements.

“We don’t want people to be afraid to audition,” Gordon Hawkins said. “Please come and try.”

“And it’s not that heavy duty of a commitment,” said Donna Hawkins. “We also need money donations from businesses and individuals to pay for cost of music, stage, rental of the center.”

“We just starting soliciting for donations, and we’ve got Syncon Homes on board,” Gordon Hawkins said. “There are several others looking into the project.”

“This will be a classy production,” he added. “The men will be in tuxedos, and the women will be in nice gowns. We may even pull a small ensemble from the groups to visit area nursing homes.”

“Pat (Wyble’s wife and assistant coordinator) is arranging for several Marines in dress blues to be at the doors to accept the toy donations. In turn, the people will be handed a ticket to get in,” Wyble said.

Gordon said as the outreach progresses, it can assist different charities and design other projects around specific needs.

“But right now, we’re very much in the start-up phase.”

YOU CAN HELP

Who: Silver Hawk Community Outreach concerts

Needed: Musicians, vocalists and donations

Information: http://www.singwithus.org or call 887-0535