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As it turned out, ITNAmerica’s latest affiliate, ITNLasVegasValley, got started almost by accident. In December 2008, Nancy Sprague just happened to be perusing an AARP magazine article concerning the organization's Inspire Awards. After having read the piece, she shared it with her business partner, Fran Smith, who was also attracted to the story about Katherine Freund, one of the AARP awardees, and founder of ITNAmerica.
Because of the large senior demographic in southern Nevada, they believed the service could be beneficial. They remembered the two tragic 2004 accidents involving senior couples that drove off the parking deck of the Golden Nugget garage, and were further motivated by the frequent news stories of accidents caused by senior drivers. They decided to research the issue and potential local community interest in this service.
Older adults urgently need reliable and affordable transportation.
After discussing the ITNAmerica concept with key members of the community in January 2009, Fran and Nancy met with key staff of the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) in mid-February. They were overwhelmed with the extremely positive response and encouragement to apply for the New Freedom grant which could support the launch of an ITN affiliate in Las Vegas.
Fortunately, Fran and Nancy have worked as a team for a number of years. They shared the leadership role at the Volunteer Center of Southern Nevada, later forming their own business partnership, Community Service Consultants. Fran possesses strong fund-raising and non-profit management experience, with Nancy being an ace when it comes to marketing and communications for both business and non-profits.
Their visit to RTC really got them going. Once funding seemed a realistic prospect, they assembled a strong steering committee; garnered Easter Seals Southern Nevada as the fiscal sponsor; and received their first major donation from UnitedHealthcare.
Once the RTC grant was approved in July, they organized a start-up board of directors; signed the Affiliate Agreement and submitted their application for recognition of IRS non-profit status in August.
It was decided to launch ITNLasVegasValley in the City of Henderson, Nevada's second largest city, and an absolute mecca for seniors.
Because everything fell into place very quickly, it seemed that is was truly meant to be. Every time something occurred that could have delayed or terminated the program, it was then positively resolved. Also, the great ongoing support, guidance and resources from ITNAmerica was key to successfully organizing an affiliate in southern Nevada.
Blind Center of Nevada
Clark County Social Services
Community Service Consultants
Division for Aging Services
Easter Seals Southern Nevada
Fox Marketing & Print Group
Helping Hands of Henderson
Helping Hands of Vegas Valley
Henderson Seniors' Auxiliary Board
Las Vegas Marathon
Nevada State Assembly
Nevada State Bank
RTC of Southern Nevada