We interrupt the endless stream of bad news about money problems — ranging from personal bankruptcies and foreclosures to severe state budget deficits to an unimaginable number of zeros tagged onto the national debt — to bring a little light into the middle of the tunnel.
The past week has brought a wealth of good news about the caring and generous spirit of Elko residents and business owners who have parted with millions of dollars to help those in need.
On Monday we got a report from Newmont Mining Corp. that $1.3 million would be going to nonprofit groups in our community this year, thanks to the company’s new charity program. Half of the money is being donated by employees, while the rest is from matching funds provided by the corporation.
This money, which formerly was distributed through the United Way, should stretch farther under the Newmont program. The United Way, meanwhile, is reorganizing under the umbrella of its Sierra branch.
The following day, more good news came up at the Elko City Council meeting. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Elko announced its capital campaign has been a huge success, raising $1.38 million.
This means the many youngsters who participate in club activities could soon have a permanent home. Instead of building in the city park, the city is providing a convenient spot across from the junior high school.
The club’s success shows that mining companies like Newmont and Barrick aren’t the only ones stepping up to the plate.
Other bright news from the past week includes a successful fundraiser held by the POW*MIA Elko Awareness Association, which attracted 300 people to its annual chili feed. The association shattered its old record by raising more than $18,000 at the event.
Donations help support its mission of bringing home all service members who are still listed as prisoners of war, missing in action or unaccounted for. Members also show appreciation to local service men and women by greeting them at the airport as they return from overseas.
We also checked in Tuesday with Paul Gardner of KELK radio and found out his fundraiser to aid the Elko Flag Foundation brought in around $10,000, nearly twice its goal.
Members of the foundation reported they are no longer able to function strictly from the interest of investments on money received back when the flag was installed to mark the nation’s bicentennial in 1976. Civic groups such as Rotary and Lions Club came to the rescue, along with residents who responded to the radio drive over the holiday weekend.
The big flag has become a primary symbol of our community and an ambassador to anyone who visits or drives through Nevada on Interstate 80. No one can help but notice this huge banner flapping in the wind, and they associate it with the big “E” on the hillside that tells everyone this is ELKO.
These stories leave no doubt that Elko is a patriotic and charitable community of people who value each other and are willing to back up their words with their wallets.
Recognizing this fact is just as important as complaining about the myriad economic disasters that have been taking up so much space on our Opinion page.
Members of the Elko Daily Free Press editorial board are John Pfeifer, Jeffry Mullins and Marianne Kobak. Todd Scott is the community adviser.