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High school program helping community animal facility

A new Pahrump Valley High School pilot program is benefiting a community animal shelter.

JAG, or Jobs for American Graduates, is focusing on Pahrump’s Symphony Animal Foundation, a no-kill animal facility.

The main purpose is to collect pet food and supplies for the nonprofit foundation. Cash donations are also welcome.

JAG specialist Candice Mitchell said the project goal is to enlist area businesses to participate in a business challenge.

“The businesses are free to donate on their own if they want to by creating a collection site for people in the community to drop off dog food and cat food donations,” she said. “I will then go around and collect all of the donations.”

JAG Vice President for Civic Development Tyler Blankenship said students in the program will also spend several hours at the foundation, performing various chores under the supervision of Symphony officials.

“We will provide care for the animals that have been abused and give them real care, like bathe them and perform handywork around the facility,” he said. “We want to help make it a better foundation than it already is.”

Blankenship also said the project represents JAG’s first community service challenge after a recent fundraiser, which raised more than $600.

He noted that more than a dozen area businesses are participating.

“Right now we have around 14 or 15 different collection sites in town,” he said. “The challenge began on March 7th and will conclude on March 18th. We have a career association meeting coming up on the 17th of March and that will determine who’s bringing what for the next car wash and bake sale. We go to the foundation to do the community service on the 9th of April.”

Mitchell meanwhile, said at present, Pahrump is the sole rural area in Nevada that embraced the JAG program, while noting the number of students has dropped off since the program was instituted at the start of the school year.

“Right now I am down to 22 students who are in the JAG program,” she said. “I started the year with 40 students. JAG is possible because of generous donations and it’s a nonprofit organization. AT&T actually sponsored this event to promote civic duty and encourage students to get involved in the community.”

Those who wish to donate a monetary contribution to the JAG business challenge may do so by visiting the campus, as it concludes on Friday.

A bake sale and car wash fundraiser is scheduled for April 23rd.

“They can make the donation out to the JAG program or Pahrump Valley High School,” Mitchell said. “It will go in the students’ JAG account and the students will do the shopping and buy what they need.”

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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