ELKO -- For Craig Kidwell, his interest in giving back to the community can be summed by a simple phrase: “If you can help somebody, you help them.”
A 1990 graduate of Elko High School and now an attorney at his law firm Kidwell and Gallagher, Kidwell was recognized by Free Press readers as the Gold 2020 Champion of Elko.
To date, alongside his business partner Barbara Gallagher, Kidwell has donated more than $50,000 to area organizations.
Kidwell said that about 10 or so years ago, the firm was getting a steady stream of calls requesting donations.
“The constant requests were really from the high school and from kids,” he said. “We just decided we are going to set aside a certain amount of money that we would otherwise just pocket and we are going to use that for Elko’s youth.”
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It would be hard to find a baseball or softball diamond in Elko that in some way, shape or form, has not benefitted from the efforts of Kidwell. An athlete throughout his school days, he said he enjoys helping out the area’s youth organizations, especially the sports teams and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Elko.
Some of Kidwell’s contributions include purchasing new uniforms for the Spring Creek High School boys basketball team, as well as a new audio-system for the Elko High School gym.
“The sounds system in the gym, horrible,” he said. “You couldn’t hear anything.”
After getting together with Dr. John Sherwood and Kinross Gold Corp., the trio were able to split the cost and replace the 15-year-old system.
“We always try to gear it toward the kids,” Kidwell said. “We can see the results, (the money) has gone to these great causes.”
Kidwell said after graduating from law school he initially planned on setting up shop in Las Vegas, where he went to undergraduate school, but a chance opportunity brought him back to his hometown.
“I got offered a job back in Elko by the family lawyer,” he said with a chuckle.
About 20 years ago, Kidwell would take on a workers compensation case involving a man who fell off a trailer and was hurt. It was the case that changed his career.
“I took that case and I won it,” he said. “I thought holy cow, I can make a difference here and I quit practicing regular law and (workers compensation) is all I have done ever since."
Kidwell is currently chairman of the State Bar of Nevada Workers Compensation Specialization Committee, and also serves on the Nevada Justice Association Board of Governors.
He said every community member can make a difference, and it does not take a lot of time or money to have a positive impact on the community.
“Everybody can do a lot of good with a little bit of effort,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be monetary, just a little bit of time goes a long way."