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Leadership class graduates

By John Miller, 12/6/17 9:54 AM

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PRESCOTT – It was graduation night for the Class of 2017 Leadership Nevada County group.

The Nevada County Library’s conference room was packed with graduates and their families. This graduation was anything but somber as the graduates celebrated with raucous joy and laughed constantly while remembering their antics and experiences over the past year.

The event began with a PowerPoint presentation of the class’ visits to different areas, such as Little Rock when the Legislature was in session, White Oak Lake and the different schools in the county as well as Old Washington Historic State Park.

Group 1, consisting of Bruce Bean, Robert Missey, Susan Wright and Carla Christopher, talked about their project – repainting the old City Jail, primarily in silver and black, with grey floors. The group told how they got the estimated cost, $300, and bought the materials locally and had three gallons of black paint donated.

Overall, each member worked around 24 hours on the project. Bean told how Perry Nelson proved to be a valuable asset as he used his cordless drill to help stir the silver paint. Initially, Bean attempted to mix the pain using a stick. Missey said the project isn’t quite complete as the group is getting a missing letter made. The group agreed they were surprised at how long it took to complete the job.

Group 2, made up of Paula Rucks, Jerry Hightower, Melissa Owens, James Kemp and Miccah Sargent, initially considered having a coat drive as its project, but as it was going to do that anyway, went another direction. The second idea was to put a flower bed in front of the Nevada County Depot and Museum, but several projects were underway at the Depot which prevented this from happening.

A third option was needed. Hightower said a church approached him about buying bibles for the Nevada County Jail. The group considered this and decided it would make a good project, but chose to include the local food pantry and the Hamilton-Blakely Senior Adult Center as well. Hightower called someone he knew at the Life for the Lost organization to see about buying 200 bibles. He was told the organization would take what the group could raise as payment. The group raised more than $1,000 and used part of the money to have pamphlets made for both the food share and senior center. With $820 left, Hightower called his contact and ordered the 200 bibles. Later, he said, a bill was received showing the actual cost of the bibles, $2,533.40.

Mary Godwin, executive director of the Prescott-Nevada County Economic Development Office, which sponsors the leadership program, said this was a great, special class that bonded well.

Two members had perfect attendance –Bean and Kemp.

The graduation ended with each member telling what they learned during the class. Bean said he learned how putting people who don’t know each other together, seeing them find common goals and bonding is a good thing.

Kemp learned things about Prescott and Nevada County he didn’t know and now looks at the community from a different perspective.

Sargent followed saying the main thing she took away from the class was learning about the Nevada County Cancer Association, and plans to work with the group.

Missey talked about learning what goes on behind the scenes to make things work, as well has having fun and making memories that he’ll treasure. He said he’d like his group to stick together.

Hightower said the class should be a prerequisite for anyone who complains about the community as they need to understand what it takes to get things done, the coordination involved and how things don’t happen overnight.

Christopher talked about making good friends over the year with the class.

Rucks said she was excited to meet new people as she came from another county and was excited about what she learned.

White joked about learning the buses were tall for short-legged people and talked about how interesting it was seeing the changes in Prescott and Nevada County after being away for years.

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