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Tuesday, June 18, 2024 at 10:04 PM

Local Nonprofit Dissolves and Donates Balance to Mayor’s Youth Fund

“We view dissolving LEAD On as the end of an impactful chapter,” said LEAD On Executive Director Monica Davis.
Local Nonprofit Dissolves and Donates Balance to Mayor’s Youth Fund

Author: Courtesy LEAD On

LEAD On, a 501(c)(3) organization committed to preparing Churchill County youth for life after high school, dissolves after five years of philanthropic contributions.

“We view dissolving LEAD On as the end of an impactful chapter,” said LEAD On Executive Director Monica Davis. “The organization has provided connection, resources, and positivity to high school students and the community at large.”

The LEAD On bylaws stated that in the event of dissolving, “assets remaining shall be distributed to the City of Fallon local government for a public purpose of supporting the Mayor’s Youth Fund.” Officially dissolved on July 22, 2022, Davis presented Mayor Tedford with a check for $6,880.91.

According to meeting minutes, board members of the organization acknowledged that the nonprofit was founded when Oasis Academy (OA) and Churchill County School District’s current leadership did not exist, both of which have provided more resources and support to students.

“We are grateful for all the resources, activities and mentors available to high school students,” said LEAD On Board Chair Maggie O’Flaherty. “It was a joy to contribute to this space for the five years that we did.”

The nonprofit was founded by Churchill County High School (CCHS) graduate Garrett Kalt (‘14). Born and raised in Fallon, Kalt attributes his passion for service, leadership, and community to his small-town upbringing. Kalt viewed LEAD On as a platform to pay it forward and give back to the community that shaped him into the person he is today.

“Our north star was working to ensure that all Churchill County youth knew and believed they could do and become anything,” said Kalt. “Our organization and team was a resource and advocate to help students achieve their dreams.”

LEAD On impacted over 500 students through its Leadership Fellowship Program, annual leadership summits, community service projects, and scholarship program.

The Leadership Fellowship Program was cohort centered and consists of high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors from both OA and CCHS. Leadership fellows were paired with a mentor, worked on a passion project, participated in monthly engagements, and worked towards earning a leadership certificate. Recent passion projects included an Earth Day park clean-up, softball dugout mural, and coffee cart build for OA.

LEAD On hosted four Leadership Summits for high school students in Churchill County. The two-day conferences consisted of team building activities, goal setting, leadership workshops, alumni panels, and service projects. Keynote addresses were delivered by Allison Woolsey, Devonte Woodson, Paolo Narag, Rachel Mills, and Shiva Rajagopal.

The nonprofit awarded nine scholarships totaling nearly $10,000. Recipients included Orin Sommer, Keith Mason, Abbey Pike, Emily Richards, Kate Dunkin, Melanie Moran, Vera Vaz, James Cosman, and JayLee Payton McEwen.

LEAD On also engaged alumni through mentorship opportunities, virtual panel discussions, and the “Where Are They Now” series in partnership with The Fallon Post. Alumni highlighted included Ariel Endacott (‘09), Anthony Tisdale (‘09), Tyler Hubbard (‘10), Lauren Stockard (‘12), Molly Black (‘13), Darcy Tedford (‘13), Breanna Paras (‘14), Macy Myers (‘16), Wyatt Getto (‘16).

The nonprofit was operated by unpaid volunteers, relied on community partnerships, and was funded by numerous groups and businesses.

Unpaid volunteers included executive staff Monica Davis, Mackenzie Cutler, Garrett Kalt, Micaiah Saling, Hannah Perazzo, Alan Kalt, Kiley Woolsey, Robert Davis, De Vere Karlson, Logan Green, Robyn Jordan, AmiDayne Nelsen, Shannon Garcia, Rebecca Winder, Pam Moore, and Abigail Ritts; Board of Directors Teresa Gehman, Steve Johnson, Cheryl Venturacci, Kathleen Williams-Miller, Andy Lenon, Kadie Zeller, Glen Perazzo, Sarah Frey, Dr. Summer Stephens, Jordan Nichols, Maggie O'Flaherty, Hunter Drost, Blane Merkley, and Jeannette Hook.

LEAD On community partners included Churchill County School District, Churchill County High School, Oasis Academy, The Fallon Post, The Fallon Theatre, Buttsup Duck Designs, Ghetto Subs, Jeff's Digitex Printing, Fallon Walmart, Telegraph, and Pizza Barn.

The nonprofit was funded by The City of Fallon, Churchill County, Tedford Tires, Enel Green Power, Churchill County Sheriff’s Deputy Association, Berney Realty, Narag Fallon Family Clinic, American Association of University Women, Soroptimist International, St. Patrick's Knights of Columbus, and private individual donors.

“Words cannot begin to describe the amount of gratitude our team has for everyone who contributed to this nonprofit and the students it served,” said Kalt. “Our community is truly special.”