December 7, 2017 – Thom Staser appeared to be shocked by the announcement of his name as the recipient of the Citizen of the Year Award. He had been invited to attend the ceremony by his friend and Nevada County Food and Toy Run supporter Michael Straight to meet numerous Foundation Board members who had voted to support the Food and Toy Run this year. That task was well received and the award was the icing on the cake.
This amazing community member of Nevada County moved here in 1958 and was essentially raised here at a time when the mills and mines would close down for the winter, the city and county maintenance crews were laid off and even Cal Trans had a skeleton crew all of which created a hardship for the families involved as well as local businesses. This witnessing of need in the community helped form Thom’s idea for a new charitable organization in Nevada County which he formed in 1991. Supporting others was also a gift given to him by his parents.
In the early years The Nevada County Food and Toy Run served just the local Head Start programs through the Placer Community Action Council to assist children from Nevada and Placer Counties, followed by several years of working with the Grass Valley Ladies Relief Society but eventually Thom brought in the local Big Brothers Big Sisters program as well.
Since the organization’s inception it has raised over $5,000,000.00 in “in kind service” for Head Start, and provided for an average of 325 families to have their choice of a turkey or Ham, ten-pound bag of potatoes and a grocery bag of food plus every child in the program gets a minimum of three toys.
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Some of what makes The Nevada County Food and Toy Run organization unique includes the fact that no one on the board draws a salary. The City Councils of Nevada City and Grass Valley have designated the second Saturday of December to be “Nevada County Food and Toy Run Day” and even the Nevada County Board of Supervisors issued a Resolution proclaiming the same. The organization and event is supported by local police departments, CHP and the Sheriff’s department as well as local Chamber of Commerce’s. The Nevada County Food and Toy Run has also been recognized by the Governor, Assembly, State Senate and even the U.S. Congress.
This year’s Food and Toy Run will take place on December 9. Starting at the Eric W. Rood Administration Center (950 Maidu Avenue in Nevada City, CA 95959) between 9:00 – 11:45 AM. Assemble and check out all the bikes, holiday costumes and smiling faces. Shirts, raffle tickets and run pins will be available for purchase – WHILE SUPPLIES LAST! Free coffee, hot cider and donuts to all riders.
The Procession will go as follows: at noon the escorted procession leaves the Rood Center for a non-stop ride to the Nevada County Fairgrounds. Between 1:00 – 3:00 PM there will be a meet and greet with Santa, kids, families and friends, food and toy distribution, vendors and a festive atmosphere.
To support this worthy and wonderful Community Organization please see http://www.toyrun.org/ for details and a donation button or simply mail a donation to Nevada County Food and Toy Run, P.O. Box 549, Nevada City, CA. 95959.