Pahranagat Valley High School seniors stuff their faces during a pie eating contest on grad night. Graduating students received prizes and one last free meal at midnight with financial support from Western Elite. (Courtesy photo)

Pahranagat Valley High School seniors stuff their faces during a pie eating contest on grad night. Graduating students received prizes and one last free meal at midnight with financial support from Western Elite. (Courtesy photo)

Western Elite Inc. has for years assisted many of the youth groups in Lincoln County with various functions and projects. This year, the WEI management team, with support from the Lincoln County Commissioners and staff, created a donation structure that would make their financial support for the youth more formal and dependable. The Western Elite Youth Fund was set up in April, and the county received its first monthly check for over $1,700.

Recently, the Pahranagat High School Senior Class utilized a portion of the grant funds to allow a safe, fun-filled graduation night party for seniors. Youth from throughout Lincoln County can apply for funds to support their efforts and activities in many different categories.

For 14 years, Michelle Whipple has organized a Grad Nite party for the Pahranagat Valley High School senior class. All the students were invited to the fun that started at 10 p.m. At midnight, only the graduating seniors stayed and held a “senior last free meal.” Then they celebrated all the holidays throughout the year, starting with New Year’s and ending with Christmas. For the kids who stayed awake through the year’s worth of holidays, they received major prizes such as money, a television, gift cards, DVD players and the like. Whipple reported that this year was the first time ever that they kept all the seniors the entire night.

“We’re proud to be a part of the community in Lincoln County. We’re especially gratified to support the many fine young people who go to school, work hard and show a deep appreciation for their country and their special corner of rural Nevada,” commented Scott Seastrand, Vice-President of Western Elite Inc.

Each month Western Elite will provide additional financial donations to be added to the Youth Fund. The Lincoln County Commissioners will serve as trustees for the fund and will authorize its use as they deem appropriate. The Lincoln County Grants Department can be helpful if a youth group needs to apply for funds to support a worthy project or event.  The grant manager’s number is: 775-962-5497.