My Turn: Lahontan – a second home community with a local’s heart |

My Turn: Lahontan – a second home community with a local’s heart

Newsflash: Being a local has nothing to do with how many days you spend in Tahoe Truckee.Communities are changed and improved by people who care enough to do something about it. The Lahontan community exemplifies how part-time residents – many of whom are very part time – achieve local status by doing what it takes to make your community a better place. For the most part, Lahontan community members are in residence July to August. They pack a lot into those months. Playing golf, Friday night gatherings, dinners, book clubs, bridge games and many children’s activities.Here’s what else they pack into these months: a charity golf tournament, cooking breakfast at the Senior Center and a mentoring project that matches successful business people with nonprofit executives. The payback for this work is that Lahontan community members become invested in the community and have a sense of belonging – in short, they become locals.Lahontan residents volunteer to serve on the board of Lahontan Community Foundation and take responsibility for engaging the entire Lahontan community in philanthropy. And, because true locals play well with others, the Lahontan Community Foundation chose to be a part of our larger community’s philanthropic organization, Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation.

This annual event raises money that is granted to local nonprofit organizations. This past year, $60,000 was given to: KidZoneTruckee Family Resource CenterArts for the SchoolsBoys and Girls Club of North Lake TahoeHumane Society of Truckee TahoeInnerRhythmsTahoe Women’s ServicesTruckee River Watershed CouncilNorth Tahoe Family Resource CenterTrails & VistasProject MANA

Each month a group, usually a service organization such as Rotary or Soroptimist, volunteers to cook breakfast as a fundraiser for Sierra Senior Services. For the past eight years, families at Lahontan have volunteered to host the August breakfast.

Launched this year as a pilot project, the Volunteer Mentoring Project taps into Lahontan members’ strong business skills – marketing, planning, financial, or human resources – to help the nonprofit community. This project provides assistance on specific projects to help nonprofit staffs and boards achieve short-term goals.On its website, Lahontan is described as a golf community. Perhaps a better description is a giving community.Lisa Dobey is CEO of Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation. She can be reached at (530) 587-1776 or

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