Local businesses are faced with no shortage of impactful organizations to donate their time, money, and resources to. But in a dog-friendly area like Tahoe, it’s no surprise that supporting animals would top the list for some businesses, many times in the form of backing the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe (HSTT). And while writing a check is always appreciated, some locals like to get creative with the way they donate to HSTT, finding ways to use their unique skills and resources to lend a helping hand to our four-legged friends.

The Holliday Gift that Keeps on Giving

As a member of the board of directors, Nancy Holliday has watched from behind the scenes while animal lives are saved, pets are fed from the food pantry, and animals from the shelter are brought to the hospital to comfort patients. Her insider vantage point also gave her a look at how financially stressful running the nonprofit is.


“What I heard was how hard they fought for every dollar,” Holliday said. “And if they didn’t get it, animals would lose their lives and people wouldn’t be comforted by the animals. So, I kept thinking, ‘We’ve got to have some kind of recurring income.’ There’s got to be something you can count on instead of just never knowing if you’re going to hit your budget.”

Holliday and her husband Rick, who together operate Holliday Development, own an apartment in downtown Truckee that she decided should bring relief to the Humane Society’s financial woes. Holliday approached Stephanie Nistler, executive director of HSTT, and offered to lease the apartment to the organization for $1/ year, so Nistler could then sublet the property and keep the income as an ongoing revenue stream.

Since neither Nistler nor Holliday had the time or the experience to manage renting the space, they turned to local vacation rental company Tahoe Getaways, whose owner Jim Winterberger offered up his company’s marketing and management services pro bono.

“They are both really amazing contributions,” marveled Nistler. “The Hollidays, of course, for giving us this amazing opportunity, and then Tahoe Getaways for putting all of this work in. It’s an in-kind value of significant funding that they are absorbing on their own to help the animals here in our community.”

The apartment went live on Tahoe Getaways’ website in March. Winterberger says the space is unique because of its urban feel that is uncommon among rentals in this area, and that demand for the pet-friendly apartment is “off the charts.” After only just a few weeks on the market, Winterberger estimated that the property had already secured about $10,000 worth of bookings for the coming months.

Pints for Pups

Holliday Development and Tahoe Getaways aren’t the only businesses in town that have found a way to tap into the resources and expertise unique to their business to aid the Humane Society. Some use their services to leverage public donations. The Truckee-Tahoe Pet Lodge offers 50 percent off for first time customers with a $10 donation to HSTT. Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows uses its biggest bargaining chip, the promise of a free season pass, to encourage attendees of HSTT’s annual Black Tie & Tails Gala to make a donation, Nistler said.

And FiftyFifty Brewing Co. contributes by doing what it does best: brewing beer.

This summer, for the sixth year in a row, FiftyFifty will brew its resoundingly popular Leg Lifter Ale to support the Humane Society. The ale stays on tap at the brewery all summer, and $1 from every pint sold goes to HSST. For the first time this year, Leg Lifter Ale will also be available in cans, as part of the company’s Cans for Community program.

“It’s just the idea of giving back, and how we can do that so simply through the sale of beer,” said restaurant manager Katie Lee. “I feel like [supporting animals] is something that everyone here can get really passionate about, and so that’s generally what we try to use as our motivation for which nonprofits we pick. [HSTT] can take all the help they can get, and we just want to be a part of that.”

Nistler shared that she is immensely grateful for all the support the Humane Society receives, especially because she knows that the more support it has, the more work it can do for the community.

“Our community rallies behind us … and honestly, with every drop of support we receive, it helps us save more lives, or provide more surgeries, or provide more food,” she explained. “As we grow, more community members are being supported by our programs, and that’s what’s cool; it all comes full circle. We’re all looking out for each other.”

To donate to or get involved with the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe, visit hstt.org

To rent the Holliday House, visit tahoegetaways.com/vacation-rentals/holliday-house


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