Saitta Trudeau dealership is hosting a car wash fundraiser this weekend for a popular summer youth program beginning in late May.
Pahrump Valley Youth Activities was created roughly six year ago as an alternative to the Pahrump Valley Boys and Girls Club when it closed its doors around the same time. The program partners with NyE Communities Coalition and runs May 31 through July 27.
Dealership owner Tom Saitta, who co-founded the program, is holding the fundraising car wash today and Saturday.
Saitta is also providing his labor for the fundraising effort.
“We are looking for some volunteers to help dry the cars for the fundraising car wash,” he said. “My staff washes them with professional car wash equipment and the volunteers, including myself, dry and clean the cars.”
The car wash is completely free, but Saitta hopes that will help people give more to the summer program.
“If all the person can afford to give is fifty cents, we will take it,” he said. “If they can give us a $100 we’ll take that and wash the car. Last year, a couple of people gave $300. Most people gave $5, $15 or $20, which we will gladly accept because every dime goes for the kids’ program.”
Saitta said he and others decided to start the youth program when Boys and Girls Club pulled out of Pahrump.
“Myself, Tom Metscher and a few other people got together and formed our own club called Pahrump Valley Youth Activities,” Saitta said. “We use J.G. Johnson Elementary School because the building that was the Boys and Girls Club was abandoned.”
He said parents can register their school-aged kids into the program early next month.
“They can register by going to the website, pvya.net and print out the registration form,” he said. “If they don’t download the registration form from the website, they can pick one up at the registration site at Saddle West and fill one out there. They have to bring the registration form on registration day, which is Thursday, May 5 at the Saddle West Hotel and Casino at 5 p.m.”
So far, Saitta said more than 1,000 kids have participated in the program since its inception.
“It’s a wonderful bargain for parents,” he said. “They get a built-in babysitter and the kids get recreational and educational activities. We feed them breakfast in the morning, we feed them lunch at noon and then provide a snack in the afternoon, five days a week.”
Saitta also noted parents shouldn’t wait until the last minute to register their kids.
“We did 170 kids last year,” he said. “What happened was, we had 150 kids signed up because we thought we weren’t going to be able to handle any more kids. We took names on a waiting list and ended up calling every one of them in.”
Saitta said the fundraising car wash is scheduled Friday and Saturday at the dealership, 1541 Wahkiakum Ave., just east of Highway 160.
Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org