Tahoe Nordic Search & Rescue gives thanks

Community comes together to support local nonprofit

“Almost the entire garage got rebuilt with donations from local companies,” said Tahoe Nordic Search & Rescue Secretary Joanna Wright.
Courtesy photo

In 2019, Tahoe Nordic Search & Rescue received a grant of $395,500 from the Truckee Tahoe Airport District to replace an old snowcat and hauler.

Volunteers for the nonprofit are used to dealing with donations in the hundreds or thousands, but a donation this size almost caused board members to “fall out of their chairs,” said Secretary Joanna Wright.

A new snowcat meant Tahoe Nordic Search & Rescue volunteers could more easily get deeper into the field to find a missing person, while also providing a warm, dry place to treat an injured skier or rider.

The new equipment came with one drawback, however. It didn’t fit into the nonprofit organization’s existing garage in Tahoe City, and cost to expand the building was estimated to be roughly $300,000.

In would step more than 20 local Tahoe businesses, donating labor, cash, materials and time to expand the garage.

“Almost the entire garage got rebuilt with donations from local companies,” said Wright. “All these local companies pitched in so much money, time and effort. In hard times, when all theses businesses are really suffering around here, we really had an outpouring from the community.”

Everything from permits, lumber, concrete, doors to electric, paint, roofing materials and more were donated by the community.

Work to expand the garage was done ahead of last season, and continued last month with volunteers adding a loft to the building. Board members said they wanted to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony to thank the community for its support, but decided against hosting an in-person event due to COVID-19.

The new snowcat the garage houses has now been on 16 missions, according to Tahoe Nordic Search & Rescue. In total, the volunteer group, which was founded following the death of a young skier in 1976, has completed 387 searches and found 656 individuals.

Donations to Tahoe Nordic Search & Rescue can be made at The all-volunteer nonprofit organization will host its annual fundraiser, The Great Ski Race, on March 6. Registration for the race, which features a new route around Mount Watson, opens Friday, Dec. 3. For more information, visit

Justin Scacco is a staff writer with the Sierra Sun. He can be reached at

Donors for Tahoe Nordic Search & Rescue garage expansion

Truckee Tahoe Airport District

Blacktop Paving

Ginsberg & Sons Excavating

M&M Pumping

TnT Materials

Laura & Doug Reed

Rob Robb

Sierra Sage Roofing

Real Graphics

JR Krauss Ltd

Forshee Construction

Tahoe / Truckee Overhead Door

Meyer Construction

Mitchell Construction

Russ Viehman Electric

Mudslingers Drywall

Kelly Brothers Painting

Truckee Tahoe Lumber

Tahoe City Lumber

Metal Sales

Boulder Ridge Sash & Door

Evolve Design Works

Ron Driller

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