Success of fundraiser speaks volumes about Carson City | NevadaAppeal.com

Success of fundraiser speaks volumes about Carson City

It’s no secret that the place to be last weekend was the Tin Cup Tea. Wait, make that the 14th annual Kids Auction and World’s Greatest BBQ. Now you see the problem … many of the town’s notables and charitables were torn between which event to attend. Some tried to split their time between both.

Fortunately, this will most likely be the last time the two events will be held on the same day. Officials from both will meet soon to work out the details.

As for the ultra-important Boys & Girls Club event, it looks like Carson City stepped up again. The final tally isn’t in, but club director Hal Hansen said an early tally shows they may have grossed $360,000 and netted $320,000. That’s significantly higher than their goal, which was to gross $320,000, about $20,000 above last year’s gross.

During one part of the evening, dubbed Stand Up For Kids, 97 people stood up and made pledges of $500. Those were just outright cash donations with nothing received in return. Last year, 67 people stood up to make pledges.

There were about the same number of people at the barbecue both years, about 900, so what’s changed? It’s certainly not the economy. If anything, that’s slipped. Who knows why Carson City residents dug deeper, but it’s yet another reason to be proud of the capital city.

The event just seems to bring out the best in people, a long list headed by Jennifer Russell and Clark Russell of Capital City Entertainment, who invest a great deal of time, money and effort in making the event a success each year.

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It also provided a revealing look into what kind of corporate citizens the partners in one of our newest large businesses will be. Mike Pegram and the Carano brothers, owners of the Bodine’s Casino under construction next to Fuji Park, showed up in a big way at the event.

They were a $15,000 sponsor to begin with, and then contributed much more throughout the evening. They even donated wine from their winery, which sold for several thousand dollars, and were active buyers in the charity auction.

Rick Murdock, the vice president of casino marketing for the El Dorado in Reno, also owned by the Caranos, said the city can expect more of the same in coming years.

“I’ve been with the Caranos for 25 years, and they love to give back,” said Murdock, a Carson City native. And the Boys & Girls Club in Reno has long been a recipient of their efforts.

Murdock said they feel good about not only the prospects for Bodine’s, but about the city as a whole.

“They believe in the market, they believe in Carson City,” he said.

Mere words? Don’t tell that to the Boys & Girls Club.

The proceeds from the night will fund the operations of the Boys & Girls Club. There’s a separate campaign underway to finish the work on the new site. If they had the funds, they could make the move from the old downtown site in just over two months, but a more realistic goal is to be moved in over the Christmas holidays, Hansen said.

They’re also pursuing a partnership with the city for a joint-use gym.

•••

The search for Steve Fossett speaks to the vastness of Nevada. All those searchers over all that time and still no trace.

Equally fascinating to me is how technology is playing a role, or trying to play a role, in the search. For example, an e-mail came to the newsroom earlier this week from David Leander from Sweden, who provided the coordinates for the missing plane.

But how would a man from Sweden know that? The answer, I assume, is that he’s one of thousands of people who are sitting at their computers scanning satellite imagery of Nevada.

It’s a tedious task … sagebrush and rock are fine to hike through, but viewed from the air it’s about as interesting as staring at asphalt.

Anyway, I punched in the coordinates into MapQuest and found myself staring at a satellite image of a site about 200 miles east of Beijing, China. Obviously, Fossett didn’t have that much gas in his tank, so I promptly corrected the mistake and found myself staring at a desolate spot in the Black Rock Desert. No plane that I could see, but just in case I forwarded the coordinates on.

If you want to take part in the search, I’d recommend you go the Internet route rather than venturing out into the desert. If you’re interested, go to the Web site http://www.stevefossett.com, where you’ll find a link to take part in an organized Internet satellite image search for the plane.

• Barry Ginter is editor of the Appeal. You can reach him at bginter@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1221.