Times are tough here in Southern Nevada, and donations to nonprofit organizations have fallen, affecting those such as Deborah Kreun, president of ThinkFirst-Nevada, an injury-prevention organization.
To address this unfortunate reality, Ray DiNardi, general manager of Land Rover Las Vegas, turned the dealership's annual Fall Launch Event into a fundraiser for ThinkFirst-Nevada. DiNardi contacted Marjorie Snow at Le Soleil Magazine, his longtime friend and Land Rover owner, for help organizing a silent auction to benefit the local organization.
As a physical therapist for more than 25 years, Kreun has witnessed the effects of easily preventable injuries. In 2004, she started Nevada Injury Prevention, a nonprofit that quickly became a chapter for ThinkFirst, an international safety-promoting organization.
ThinkFirst programs have operated in the United States since 1986, delivering life-saving information in a clear, concise manner. In its first year and with only a volunteer core, ThinkFirst-Nevada made presentations at schools; participated in school carnivals and employer health fairs; and established sponsors to begin its helmet-giveaway program.
The helmet-giveaway program is ThinkFirst's most visible program, having donated more than 2,000 helmets to the children of Southern Nevada since 2005. In 2009, Kreun added a simulated impaired-driving experience, called SIDNE, that allows high school students to learn about the dangers of driving while impaired or distracted. Through Kreun's hard work with ThinkFirst-Nevada, she has been able to reach more than 25,000 students during her six-plus years in operation.
DiNardi and Snow starting planning the silent auction in May. Snow obtained donations from chef Joel Robuchon, entertainer Terry Fator, Neiman Marcus, the Bellagio Gallery and Berger & Son Jewelers. In just one evening, $4,100 was raised through bids from Le Soleil readers and Land Rover customers -- enough to support an additional 300 helmets for children in Southern Nevada.
These helmets will go to use at the seventh annual After Christmas Helmet Giveaway on Saturday, Jan. 8, at Land Rover Las Vegas.
Visit www.thinkfirstnv.org for more information about ThinkFirst-Nevada.