Skip to main content
Community Foundation of Northern Nevada Logo

Short Stories About Big Dreams that Made a Great Impact

As your Community Foundation, we have the privilege of helping dreams come true.

These stories show how working with the Community Foundation helps donors make a big impact. As you will see, donors are all types of people, and gifts come in all sizes. You don’t need to be a millionaire to use the Community Foundation to help make philanthropy impactful. Keith and Edith Mentzer gave this community a gift that will change countless lives. In their Trust, working with their attorney Gordon Muir, they arranged for a bequest that would provide an endowment to support foster youth with the financial support needed to attend college. Their gift was exceptionally generous and has the capacity to literally support hundreds of youth in the future. The Truckee Meadows Water Authority, working with attorney Sylvia Harrison, chose the Community Foundation to establish the Truckee River Fund. Their goal is to enhance and protect our water resources.  Through this Fund, millions of dollars have been granted to more than 200 projects over the last decade, ensuring our water is safe for generations to come. Dave and Jan Bingham granted significant funds to install Promethean Board technology in six elementary schools in Minden and Gardnerville. The advanced lesson plans and student participation have resulted in a giant leap forward for the district in student potential and achievement. Grady Tarbutton, former Director of Senior Services in Washoe County, let us know about the thousands of caregivers in Washoe County who are struggling to maintain their life, employment, health, and family while supporting a family member who needs care. His dream resulted in dozens of donors stepping forward to support the Caregiver Support Initiative resources like the Caregiver Guidebook and The Caregiver Guidebook is available in many pharmacies in Reno and Sparks and available online. Allison Gorelick and Par Tolles had a vision of helping hundreds of extremely low-income people who can’t afford safe affordable housing in our area. Their vision inspired other donors including the City of Reno. The Village on Sage Street is the remarkable result of this shared vision. As I write this, there are just 41 remaining open rooms at The Village on Sage Street. We project a “full” date in late April. We are actively fundraising to finish paying the remaining $3.5 million in construction costs. Other visions have resulted in The Community Endowment, preservation of a large portion of the Sierra Valley, more than 40 scholarship funds, more than 100 donor-advised funds, funds to benefit specific charities, areas of interest funds such as at-risk youth and the Be Instrumental Arts Fund. More than 100 families include the Community Foundation in their bequest arrangements to achieve their lifetime charitable dreams. Big stories and big dreams are sometimes, but not always, about a big gift. One of the reasons so many families have set up bequest arrangements with the Community Foundation is that often our biggest gift is the one we can afford to make through a bequest. Through a legacy fund, just about everybody can leave a legacy of big dreams, and a big impact. What do you think of these short stories about big dreams that make a large impact on our region? Do you have a vision for something big? By working together with your professional advisor and the Community Foundation you can turn that big dream into an effective and efficient plan. The Community Foundation is a trusted partner to professional advisors and generous donors throughout the Truckee Meadows and beyond. Give us a call today to tell us your story, and your dream. We will be honored, and we will help. Chris Askin, President, and CEO 775-333-5499 Connecting people who care with causes that matter.