Biggest year yet for VEA Fill the Bucket event in Pahrump

Students and teachers throughout the Valley Electric Association service territory can now look forward to a new school year with the knowledge that thousands of dollars worth of school supplies will help make their academic endeavors a success.

On Saturday, Aug. 4, VEA staff members, ambassadors and other volunteers from the community joined forces to host the 12th annual VEA Fill the Bucket School Supply Drive. The goal was to break the previous record for number of buckets filled and event volunteers were not to be disappointed.

“Valley Electric Association’s Fill the Bucket School Supply Drive surpassed all expectations in 2018, breaking the record of 37 buckets with a whopping 49,” a news release extolled. “The 12th annual Fill the Bucket School Supply Drive had VEA ambassadors and employees working hard to collect supplies for the school kids Saturday, August 4, at three locations in Pahrump, including Walmart, Smith’s and Albertsons. With temperatures soaring to 104 degrees, volunteer ambassadors and community members showed up to support the drive.”

VEA’s Fill the Bucket event was inspired by one of the most common pieces of equipment used by the utility, a bucket truck. These vehicles come with extendable hydraulic booms that carry large buckets which are used, “for raising workers to elevate to inaccessible areas, like power poles,” the release detailed. One bucket is equal to 12 cubic feet, VEA explained, meaning a total of 588 cubic feet of school supplies were gathered throughout the four-hour event.

“We are so proud of what the community has done,” VEA Chief Executive Officer Angela Evans said. “Everyone made a great showing for the kids.”

Nye County School District Superintendent Dale Norton wholeheartedly agreed. “It was great seeing the community pull together with school supply donations as well as the many cash donations from community members and businesses alike,” Norton commented following the supply drive. “Valley Electric and their ambassadors, Smith’s, Albertsons and Walmart are very much appreciated for allowing these events to be held at their places of business. Thank you to all. The 5,200 students in Nye County School District greatly appreciate the support from everyone.” Norton also noted that the school supplies will be distributed throughout the school term, as needed.

“VEA Community Relations Representative Ryan Muccio said it was touch-and-go for a bit at the end and it looked like the record was not going to be broken,” the release stated. “With just 20 minutes to go, the drive had collected 35 buckets. Then Walmart came out with a shopping cart full of supplies, and that donation pushed the drive over the record of 37.

“Angela Evans proudly announced to KNYE Radio Host Karen Jackson that the record had been broken. Supplies purchased with cash donations pushed the number of buckets to 49. Valley Electric partners GridLiance West donated $1,000, and JACO Construction came in with $500. Many shoppers handed over cash and encouraged volunteers to purchase supplies that were most in demand.”

This yearly effort is geared toward collecting as many school supplies as possible, which are then distributed to the schools within the communities VEA serves.

Muccio added that although many people think of the students who are helped by the event, teachers, too, are positively impacted because the supplies provided assist them in having to spend less out of their own pockets for their students’ needs. Evans remarked that VEA’s service area extends from Sandy Valley to Fish Lake Valley.

With a large swath of Nye County covered by the utility, area youth will undoubtedly benefit from the generosity displayed by all those who contributed to the event. Two other school districts, Esmeralda and Clark, will also benefit.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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