School supplies on the way – The Backpack Attack is back |

School supplies on the way – The Backpack Attack is back

by Maggie O'Neill
Appeal Staff Writer

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Gov. Kenny Guinn revs up a custom chopper, made by Paughco Motorcycles, with his wife, Dema, at the Governor's Mansion Friday morning. Carson City Harley-Davidson is hosting a Poker Run Aug. 20 to raise money for the Platinum Hair Salon Backpack Attack program, which provides backpacks to local schoolchildren. The Guinns are supporters of the effort.

It’s not all layers or blunt cuts at this beauty salon.

It’s also backpacks.

For the fourth year in a row, Carson City’s Platinum Salon is sponsoring “Backpack Attack,” an event in which more than 800 school daypacks are provided to children in need.

The children are identified as such through agencies like Carson City Sheriff’s Office, Child Protective Services, Committee to Assist Abused Women, Court Appointed Special Advocates and Volunteers of America.

Susie Bendure, an advanced stylist at Platinum has seen up close what the backpacks can do. Although most of the backpacks are distributed through the agencies, a few children have come into the salon to pick one up.

“It really gets your attention,” she said. “It makes us all rearrange our thoughts and think this is good what we’re doing.”

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To help reach their goal to provide a backpack to every community child in crisis – children who might need to pick up and leave their home on an instant’s notice – the salon is asking people for help by bringing in a daypack.

There are two drop-off locations: at the salon at 716 N. Carson St., Ste. 110; or in Reno at Dr. Frank Davis’ office, 1300 E. Plumb Lane, Suite A.

“However many backpacks we get are used,” Bendure said. “We just go for the gusto. Every year, they’re all gone.”

The backpacks should be new and filled with items that a child in crisis might need: toothbrush, toothpaste, a wash cloth, shampoo, conditioner and school supplies.

There should be no clothes or shaving supplies because the backpacks are geared toward all ages. Also refrain from putting in food and religious or political materials.

If the backpack is empty when dropped off, stylists at the salon will fill it with supplies. Monetary donations help drive that need. Checks can be made out to “Backpack Attack” and dropped off.

Raffle tickets are six for $5 or $1 a piece. This year’s raffle prizes include a $100 Chauteau Bliss Gift Certificate, Long’s Jewelry gold earrings, Genoa Trading Company necklace and earrings., Kragen Mr. Clean auto-dry kit, a one-night stay with dinner at the Carson Nugget and more. People dropping off a backpack will receive 11 raffle tickets.

Also, Harley-Davidson is sponsoring a poker run for the Backpack Attack. The run starts at the shop at 2749 N. Carson St. on Aug. 20. Registration is from 9-11:30 a.m., and entry is one new backpack with one set of school supplies.

The high poker hand wins a $250 gift certificate to the Carson City Harley-Davidson shop. Low hand wins a $100 certificate.

Platinum Salon co-owners Larry Walthers and Dr. Patty Davis make community service part of their mission.

“When Larry first opened the shop, he said ‘I want everybody to pick a couple of community service projects that we can do,'” Bendure said.

“I want to give back to the community that is making this happening.”

The salon also provides free, back-to-school haircuts each year for children who can’t afford them. Stylists pick a family at Christmas to support, and also do Locks of Love for people donating their hair to cancer patients.

“People don’t realize until they start doing some community service what it means,” Bendure said. “It has not only gotten the public to know who we are, but it has made us (at the salon) know each other better.”

She is looking for space to store the backpacks as they come in throughout the month.

Anyone with space can call her at the salon to help. Collection occurs through Aug. 31, although many of the raffle prizes will be drawn at the Harley-Davidson event on Aug. 20.

“We hear from the agencies that we work through,” Bendure said. “We get little thank-you notes sent to us through the agencies from the parents of kids saying thank you .”

n Contact reporter Maggie O’Neill at or 881-1219.