Tahoe Nordic Search & Rescue gives thanks
Community comes together to support local nonprofit
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 http://www.tahoenordicsar.org. 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 thegreatskirace.com.
Justin Scacco is a staff writer with the Sierra Sun. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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