Hospital, Mine Partner to Help Provide Merry Christmas for Local Family

The holidays are drawing to a close, but the memory of one donation will stay with several local groups for quite some time.

It all began at this year's Festival of Trees, sponsored by the Winnemucca Host Lions Club, on November 28-30 at the Winnemucca Convention Center.

That's where Humboldt General Hospital Employee Committee President Rick McComb spotted a beautiful Christmas tree.

The tree was decorated by a group of employees from Newmont's Phoenix Mine. Phoenix's Jennifer Ortega led that effort, choosing a copper theme for the tree, along with a bounty of copper gifts to go under.

McComb, who was armed with $100 from his group as well as $1,000 from HGH, said, "When I saw that tree, I knew it was the one."

McComb purchased the tree on behalf of HGHEC and HGH and then arranged for the tree and all its trimmings and gifts to be donated to AVA-CASA, Advocates for Victims of Abuse - Tri-County Court Appointed Special Advocates.

The local non-profit agency assists survivors and secondary survivors of sexual violence, relationship abuse, child abuse, neglect and bullying.

AVA-CASA's Chelle Robinson and Holly Olsen said the tree would be welcomed with open arms by a local family in need. The HGH Employee Committee even threw in another $100 gift card to Raley's, which the two women said would just shoot the entire gift over the moon.

For her part, Ortega, whose Christmas tree team included co-workers Briony Coleman, Shar Peterson, Kathy Steele and Clara Trippel, said she was thrilled when she learned what was to happen to the tree.

"I was so excited," she said. "This was a really amazing end to this whole project."

Robinson and Olsen agreed the joint donation would make Christmas a lot brighter for the family in need. "This is a very special donation," said Robinson.