At the last minute, Round Mountain Gold in Round Mountain saved the GREAT program run by two Nye County Deputies, Rick Dugan and Don Boulden.
The acronym stands for Gang Resistance Education And Training.
Boulden said this program is a national program like DARE.
“Instead of drugs it focuses on gang prevention and violence. The program in the school includes problem solving, community awareness, cultural diversity and accepting other cultures. It’s not all about gangs. It’s how to stay out of gangs and community responsibility,” he said.
The summer program is an opportunity to reach out to all the Nye County communities. The deputies discuss gang resistance in a more relaxed atmosphere and teach the children about their emergency responders. The fire department even joins them and sprays the children down during the hot part of the day.
The deputies open the program up to grades K-8. They bring games and prizes and hold a week-long summer day camp. The fun starts in Gabbs and works its way south to Pahrump, stopping in Round Mountain, Tonopah and Beatty. It takes them six weeks to complete the summer program.
“The summer program gives the officers an extra touch, an extra moment with the community,” said Boulden.
This summer program was completely canceled by Sheriff Tony Demeo for lack of funds, which sent Dugan searching for funding.
“When they announced and said it was canceled, I was up there teaching my program and I went into Round Mountain Gold and they donated the money we asked for,” he said. “With the money being so short in the sheriff’s department, there was no money for our summer program.”
Round Mountain Gold Manager of Human Resources and Corporate Responsibility Denise Carver was very excited to donate the money to the program.
“It came to our attention that the program was losing its funding. This program helps 700 children throughout Nye County and it was a pretty big deal and pretty important to us that they do not lose this program.
“We have assisted with the DARE Program in the past so that they could keep going, so when Deputy Dugan came to us asking for help we jumped right on it,” she said.
According to Dugan, the money is not just for this year and should be ongoing.
“Round Mountain Gold came up with all the money I asked for and it was just amazing.
“We would also like to thank the Sheriff for allowing us to continue the program, because the sheriff’s office will still have to pay us for our time. This sheriff has always supported these kinds of programs,” Dugan said.
The program in the past has received some large donations from Walmart, which donated all the prizes for the program. Dugan said it was enough toys to last them for some time.
The Nye County School District has given lunches for a number of years for all the children and the T-shirts come from Round Mountain Gold.
“Round Mountain is just instrumental for the whole thing,” Dugan said. “I told the lady from Round Mountain Gold, when she called me, that I would give her hug if it were not over the phone. It is for the kids. It’s not for me. That’s the most important thing. I enjoy doing the whole thing, it’s my life, but it’s for the kids. They need to learn the things that we teach them. In the summer it is too easy to be led astray without these programs.”