Dayton community raises $60,000 in 20 Days for BGCMV Dayton Clubhouse playground

DAYTON, Nev. – Sixty is the new 50. 

In a stunning display of support for Boys & Girls Clubs of Mason Valley’s Dayton Clubhouse, Dayton Chamber of Commerce president John Cassinelli announced at the June 2 ribbon cutting that the community of Dayton has raised more than $60,000 for a new playground at the new site.  

“We had a pretty ambitious goal of raising $50,000 in a short amount of time. We didn’t dream of the generosity that ensued after we announced the playground campaign as way of saying ‘Welcome to the new clubhouse and thank you.’”   

The Chamber’s executive director, Helaine Jesse Morres, learned that the clubhouse needed a playground after a short conversation with Sarah Rose, the Club’s area director. As it turns out, Morres, who lead the Western Nevada College Foundation for 18 years, had experience raising money for a playground at the college.  

“I thought, we can do this here in Dayton,” Morres said.  She knew it was important to have skin in the game and started off the campaign with a $5,000 contribution in memory of her mother, Maizie Harris Jesse, and her mother-in-law, Verna Roberts Morres. Both passed away in 2020.  

Shortly thereafter, Jody Foley, long-time Dayton resident and prominent area realtor for RE/MAX Professionals, made a $5,000 donation in memory of her daughter, Kelsey Erin Foley.   

“I donated to the Boys & Girls Club in Dayton because the future of Dayton is with our youth. Our Boys & Girls Club offers a safe place during off-school hours and promotes education, friendship, citizenship and fun. My girls went to Boys & Girls Clubs when they were small. I saw this as a fitting remembrance for my daughter Kelsey and close friend Diane.”  

Donations literally began to pour in from Dayton businesses and residents as well as the surrounding area. 

“The support still blows my mind,” Travis Crowder, the Club’s chief professional officer said. “Every email or phone call we got with news of more donations was just so encouraging and a constant reminder that Dayton is a great community to be a part of.” 

As of June 1, the group had raised over $35,000 when Morres received a call from Dr. Amy Hyne-Sutherland, PhD, Director of Mission Integration for Carson Tahoe Health. Hyne-Sutherland had received a copy of the request to participate in the playground project from long-time director of marketing Diane Rush. Rush saw that it perfectly aligned with the goals of CTH’s Community Partnership Fund, so the team encouraged Boys & Girls Clubs of Mason Valley to apply for a grant. In 20 days, the goal of $50,000 had miraculously reached over $60,000. 
“The goal of the Carson Tahoe Health Community Partnership Fund is to build community capacity and resilience, encourage collaboration across sectors, and address the underlying causes of persistent health problems. Ultimately, we seek to promote health equity – a state where everyone has a fair and just opportunity to live the healthiest life possible. Many children encounter barriers to good health, such as lack of nutritious food or lack of physical activity. We are grateful to the Boys & Girls Club of Mason Valley and the Dayton Chamber of Commerce for the opportunity to help build a playground where our local kids can stay active and build a foundation for a healthy life. To create the community our kids deserve, we have to work together. That’s what we’ve done here today,” Hyne-Sutherland said. 

Morres noted there’s still time for people to donate to the clubhouse as there are items inside that need finishing.  

“Let’s raise $75,000 in 30 days!”  

Contact Morres at 775-246-7909 or at

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