Silver Dollars & Wooden Nickels: When disaster strikes, every little bit helps

The Nevada Appeal's "Silver Dollar" and "Wooden Nickel" feature recognizes positive achievements from the capital region and, when warranted, points out others that missed the mark.

SILVER DOLLAR: To the local organizations who are helping disaster victims in Japan. Raley's and Smith's grocery stores are both helping victims. At Raley's, you can donate supplies through April 18. At Smith's, you can add your donation to the final checkout price. The donation will be made to the American Red Cross.

Charter also is allowing customers to reach out to loved ones or friends in Japan by waiving all charges for direct-dial long-distance calls through

April 30.

Is your organization lending its support to help disaster victims in Japan? If so, send the information to editor@

WOODEN NICKEL: To the news that for the first time since 1874 there will not be a state fair this year. The economy took its toll on what had been the longest running event in Nevada. The board of directors made the decision after only raising 13 percent of the amount needed to overcome debt coupled with the necessary money needed to produce the fair.

The ones most affected in Carson City by the fair's closure are the kids in the 4-H programs. Those 14 Carson City kids in the 4-H program's livestock club, which falls under the University of Nevada's Carson City/Storey County Cooperative Extension Office, will now have to look to the annual state 4-H expo.

"Several years back, we decided to partner with the state fair because it's easier to get our kids to their culminating event for the year," said Sandy Wallin, who overseas the program. "We saw this as an opportunity to assist the state fair."

SILVER DOLLAR: To Gina Kaskie-Davis for 25 years of teaching jazz, ballet, tap, contemporary, lyrical and musical theater in Carson City. Kaskie-Davis was honored earlier this month with a surprise party by her students.

After performing in Paris, Kaskie-Davis came to Northern Nevada to perform in "Hello Hollywood, Hello" at the former MGM Grand in Reno.

She opened Western Nevada Performing Arts and has taught thousands of students over the years.

"The 7- to 11-year-olds are my favorites," Kaskie-Davis said. "They're so eager, they want it so much and try so hard. They're like sponges. You watch them grow by leaps and bounds, and you see that joy in them when they dance."


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