Invest locally " enhance your community |

Invest locally " enhance your community

Blossom the Bernese Mountain Dog was a Truckee-North Tahoe Local in the Sierra Sun last year. I’m not bragging, but Blossom was the first four-legged Local in the Sierra Sun’s history. Don’t you wonder what the reporter thought when she received that interview assignment?

This year, Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation decided to advertise in the upcoming Locals’ publication. We considered placing an ad featuring Blossom’s most recent photo, commemorating her inaugural conversation with a porcupine, with the text “Not all locals are friendly.”

Instead, we selected a more positive approach. The ad will feature Christie Coker and says, “She became a local the day she started giving back to the community.”

Investing in and being invested in Truckee-Tahoe makes a local ” whether you live here full-time or not. Look around our community and you see profound examples of how giving time and/or money are building a better community.

You know those roundabouts that keep appearing in Truckee. Town staff says they eliminate stoplights and keep traffic moving. I think of philanthropy as a virtual roundabout. When we have needs and opportunities in the region that would otherwise come to a stop, philanthropy is able to keep things moving. As with roundabouts, we can move in multiple directions. We may even go around in circles once or twice, but eventually we find the right direction.

Our region finds the right direction through community involvement. Everywhere we look, there are opportunities for people to become involved in the future of the region. Education Matters involved more than 700 people who identified community priorities for education. The North Tahoe Truckee Leadership Program provides a boot camp for people interested in learning more about community issues and how to participate in decision-making processes.

The Tahoe City Rotary is re-investing in the business community. Pathway 2007 involved more than 1,000 people in designing plans for their villages: Kings Beach, Tahoe City and the West Shore.

Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation also provides the opportunity to get involved in the region’s future through charitable giving. TTCF’s unrestricted endowment is a vehicle where you can give to fix things that need fixing today. Then, because your gift is invested rather than spent, investment income is also available to respond to whatever issues may emerge in the future. Just think: a donation today will help our region now and forever more.

Maybe while we’re at it, we’ll find some money for public art in the middle of the roundabouts so that we will have something interesting to look at while we’re finding our direction.

I hope all of you follow in Blossom’s paw steps and become a Local. Whether your issues are open space and preventing leash laws or transportation and water quality, get involved in those that are important to you. Join a committee, participate in a discussion group, and donate to Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation or a charity working on your pet issue. And, if you have a dog who dreams of being a Truckee-North Tahoe Local, urge him or her to chase chipmunks, not porcupines.

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