In 2010, the Sun Valley board partnered with Washoe County Senior Services to orchestrate a community Veterans Day celebration aimed at bringing older generations and younger generations together. The celebration was funded in part by Generations United money awarded to the county in the amount of $2,500.
According to the Generations United website, the national organization is “focused solely on improving the lives of children, youth and older people through intergenerational strategies, programs and public policies.
“We represent more than 100 national, state and local organizations representing more than 70 million Americans. Since 1986, Generations United has served as a resource for policymakers and the public on the economic, social and personal imperatives of intergenerational cooperation.”
The intention of Generations United activities is to stimulate collaboration among senior citizens, adults, youth and children.
“We … provide a forum to explore areas of common ground while celebrating the richness of each generation,” the site states.
During Thursday’s meeting, Darrin Price, general manager of Sun Valley GID, told the board of directors he would like to continue to work with the senior services department to provide generation-uniting activities to the community.
“This is a follow-up on the Generations United grant,” Price said. “Last year we partnered with senior services (on the Veterans Day celebration). As a continuation, the folks that handle the grant want to continue seeing activities.”
Price on Thursday asked the board to start thinking of ideas for intergenerational activities for 2011 to be presented and voted on during the next board meeting.
“We’ll put this on the next agenda,” Price said. “Email your ideas and we’ll compile a list. We’ll meet with Grady (Tarbutton, director of senior services for Washoe County) again and vote on the idea you like the best.”
Several board members expressed interest in holding a second Veterans Day celebration and in utilizing the Sun Valley community garden already in place as a tool to bring generations together.
“I’d like to see us continue with the Veterans Day celebration,” said trustee Robert Fink. “We’ll start (planning) earlier this year and find out about other programs in town and adjust our times to fit.
“I’ve heard nothing but good comments on the Veterans Day event,” he added.
“The garden is a good idea,” said Linda Woodland, vice-chair. “But it needs to be broadened and placed in a somewhat secure area.”
Public Works Director Mike Ariztia suggested that rather than creating new programs, it would be more cost-effective to bring generations together through programs already in place in Sun Valley. He suggested a program where seniors would work with students at the local headstart school.
“Maybe recruit seniors from the community for a reading program,” Fink added.
Fink also suggested holding a planting event for people of all ages.
“When I was a kid back in Ohio, we had the forester come out and we planted a forest,” Fink said. “They did it for a few years, and one year while I was still in high school we harvested Christmas trees.”
Some of the trees are still there today, he said.
“I think Washoe County has an arborist,” Fink continued. “Let’s get the county arborist involved and see what can be done … let’s get the kids in the schools and have a planting day.”
Whatever activity the board settles on, Garth Elliott, treasurer, wants it to impact as many community members as possible.
“We need to be as broad-based as possible,” Elliott said.
The Generations United matter will be revisited during the next Sun Valley GID board meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, at the Sun Valley GID Administrative Building, 5000 Sun Valley Blvd.