Ginny Barrett knew immediately where to donate the money when she learned she had won $500 from Rolling Hills Casino to donate to the charity of her choice. Barrett, who is the president of the Corning Rotary, chose the organization’s Dictionary project as recipient of the grant, which she won by participating in the Casino’s Gingerbread House Theme contest.
Barrett proposed “Towns of Tehama County” as the theme for the Casino’s gingerbread project, which each year features gigantic gingerbread structures as the centerpieces. “It would be a huge project that people from all over the county would come to see,” wrote Barrett. Barrett envisioned gingerbread versions of Cone Kimball tower, Maywood Hotel, railroads, and other historical landmarks representing Red Bluff, Corning, Los Molinos, Vina, and Tehama. “Although we didn’t have time to develop the theme for our project this year, we loved the idea and are hoping to use it for next year,” said James Rosenbalm, Executive Chef at Rolling Hills Casino. The Casino’s team of volunteers recently began constructing this year’s project “Around the Christmas Tree,” which will feature a 10-foot tall Gingerbread tree complete with decorations, lights, and a model train. The team plans to post photos on the Casino’s blog and Facebook pages as the project progresses.
“We are very pleased with Ginny’s choice of charity,” said Kate Grissom, Marketing Director for Rolling Hills Casino. “Education is a top-priority for our charitable giving program, and the dictionary project targets youth at an age when enthusiasm for reading is crucial.”
Rolling Hills Casino champions a variety of educational programs in Tehama County including Expect More Tehama, College OPTIONS, SERF, and the Exploring Music program currently piloted at Los Molinos Elementary School. “Studies show that reading by the end of third grade is important for the lifelong success of a child,” said Grissom. “Failure to read proficiently in primary grades is linked to higher rates of school dropout and lower earning potential. Reading literacy not only affects the future of our youth, it is also is crucial for the future of our County, which can only prosper with a highly educated workforce,” she added.
According to Barrett, the Dictionary Project provides dictionaries for every third grader in Tehama County, which the children get to keep. “For some children, it is the first book they ever owned,” said Barrett. “My daughter can’t wait to get her dictionary; according to her it’s a perk to being in the third grade!, said Tori Priest, confirming the benefit of the program.
The Rotary Club of Corning also provides several scholarships for Corning High seniors, and is a supporter of the Boy and Cub Scouts, International Student Exchange, a basketball program, a pedometer project, and the Tucker Mesker Memorial Scholarship Softball Tournament Fundraiser.