Sponsorship of surprises for young girl example of Community Day events

HENDERSON, Nev. – Every year the Henderson Chamber of Commerce hosts Community Days, where the membership works to give back to the community. The end of the year brings the most poignant service project yet – making a young girl’s holiday dreams come true.

Justianna (her last name has been withheld for privacy) was nominated by her fourth-grade teacher at McCaw Elementary School in Henderson to In12Days, a nonprofit organization that provides 12 festive days of gifts and cheer to deserving individuals and families. This year, the Henderson Chamber of Commerce stepped into sponsor Justianna’s 12 Days of Christmas.

With an incarcerated mother and absent father, Justianna lived with her great grandmother, until she fell ill. Justianna was then forced to leave her friends and family to go live with her maternal grandmother, great grandmother and cousins in Texas.

When she arrived at McCarran International Airport on Dec. 12, it was her first steps onto Nevada sand since she left. The Henderson Chamber partnered with the chamber of commerce in Kingsville, Texas as well as Irene Fenolio of PostNet NV141 in Henderson, to make sure Justianna received her 12 days of Christmas — different food and gifts each day for the 11 days leading up to her trip to Las Vegas. The Westin Lake Las Vegas provided accommodations for Justianna and her family while they were here, and Findlay Toyota provided a van for transportation. Both companies are members of the chamber.

“Giving back to the community – helping this young girl have a happy holiday – is one of the best parts of the Henderson Chamber,” said Scott Muelrath, CEO and president of the Henderson Chamber of Commerce. “We all work hard all year to make sure we can keep our doors open, but seeing the smiles on the faces of the people we help makes all the hard work worth it. We enjoy helping members of our community, and it’s a permanent part of our culture here in Henderson.”

In 2014, the Henderson Chamber also helped the Foothill High School marching band reach its goal to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Through the Community Day program, chamber members such as Station Casinos, NV Energy, Timet, CenturyLink, Dignity Health St. Rose Dominican Hospitals all contributed. After Muelrath featured the band during the State of the Chamber event, Nevada State Bank stepped up to donate the last $6,000 that allowed the band to complete the trip.

“Having the band represent Nevada at the parade this year was a real treat,” Muelrath added. “They worked so hard all year to make it happen, and we were happy to be there to support them.”

In addition to these, the Henderson Chamber also helped to raise $7,300 for the American Cancer Society through the Xs and Os of Success and Coaches vs. Cancer as well as $4,975 for Nevada State College through the 23rd Annual Swing for Success Golf Tournament. Members of the chamber also volunteer their time with organizations such as the Blind Center of Nevada and support the Henderson Libraries through annual Library Tree Lane fundraiser.

The Henderson Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit, professional organization committed to promoting and supporting member businesses.

For more information about the Henderson Chamber or its Community Day activities, visit www.hendersonchamber.com.