Winning gold at the Nevada Senior Games wasn’t a major issue for Cathy Behrens. It just meant driving to Las Vegas and repeating what she did last year.
But that win qualified her for the National Senior Games, often referred to as the Senior Olympics. And getting to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in June is not as simple as getting to Las Vegas in October.
So Behrens decided it was time to knock on some doors and see if she could round up sponsors to help her make the trip to represent Nevada. First stop: Valley Electric CEO Angela Evans.
“I talked to Angela on the phone two weeks ago, and she said, ‘How much money do you need?’ ” Behrens recalled. “And that was a little awkward because I didn’t know. I said $3,000, but when I put it down on paper it was closer to $2,000. So I would say anywhere between $2,000 and $3,000. It was a little awkward for me, I’ll be honest.
“Valley Electric is one of the biggest companies in town, and so that’s where I wanted to start out.”
Behrens said she was surprised Evans was so willing to speak to her.
“She was really nice,” Behrens recalled. “I called their office, and I’m going to use the word boldly, I boldly asked to speak to her. They gave her the message, and she called me back.
“I was sitting in Walmart’s parking lot, and we had a very nice conversation. We talked a little personal. She was very warm and receptive, and she actually took five minutes of her busy day to talk to me.”
“I told her how excited I was to be going and how much I was looking forward to it.”
Behrens said she was told by someone at Valley that the company does have money to give, but usually it is given to an organization, such as the Pahrump Valley High School Golden Legion Marching Band, rather than an individual.
That did not stop Behrens from meeting Wednesday with Evans.
“What I gave her was my portfolio on my swimming and also a letter,” Behrens said. “They are going to present it to the board in January, and they’ll say yea or nay, we’re going to help this girl out or not.”
The portfolio included newspaper articles about her swimming accomplishments, information from the Nevada Senior Games website, a page of pictures from her earlier swimming days and the postcard that congratulated her for qualifying for the National Senior Games.
“The front page is really nice,” Behrens said. “It’s a picture of myself with some executives from Treasure Island. This was from when I won gold in a Corporate Challenge. That was my very first competition. I’m so glad I found it!”
The next step is the January meeting of Valley Electric’s board. Behrens was told she does not have to attend, but she said she would if anyone at Valley told her she should. In the meantime, she is not waiting for their decision.
“I did tell Angela that I’m going to knock on a few other doors,” she said. “I’m going to go to Walmart and go in and ask for the manager.”
Technically, Behrens has not yet committed to going to Albuquerque. There is, as usual, the small matter of paperwork that requires her attention.
“I haven’t even filled out my registration yet,” she said with a laugh. “I’ll do that right after the first of the year. It’s $140 for the registration, and then there’s some other fee just to document it. Then there’s some sort of outfit I have to get because I’ll be in the Celebration of Athletes at the end of the competition. And that’s on my birthday, June 19.”