By Teri Vance
Kyra Cisneros, 17, remembers being paired with police officers during the holiday shopping sprees afforded to children in need in the Carson City School District.
“They were joking around and getting to know you,” she recalls. “They would always make you smile and laugh and just enjoy the holiday.”
When they would ask her what she wanted to be when she grew up, her answer was always the same: “I want to be just like you. I want to help people.”
But she wasn’t sure she would ever be able to achieve her dream of becoming a detective. Outside of the Holiday with a Hero program, which hosts the annual shopping sprees, she’d only seen her family have negative interactions with cops. Plus, she didn’t know how she could ever afford college.
But thanks to a new Holiday with a Hero scholarship, Kyra is on track to attend Western Nevada College after graduation this month from Carson High School.
“This will help me reach my dream job,” she said. “I’ll be the first one in my family to go to college and graduate.”
Daniel Gonzales, Assistant Carson City Sheriff, founded Holiday with a Hero with his wife, Meliah, as a way to help the children he saw daily who were suffering. The program, which has operated since 2004, is sponsored by the Carson City sheriff’s office and fire department. The scholarship, Gonzales said, is a way to extend that help.
“The shopping spree is a great way to keep the magic of Christmas alive for every child in our community,” Gonzales said. “The scholarship is a chance for these kids to build a new future for themselves.”
But neither would be possible without help from the community.
The second annual Holiday with a Hero Golf Tournament, which raises funds for the scholarship program is scheduled for June 17, 2023, at Eagle Valley Golf Course.
The tournament will host 144 golfers in a 4-person scramble. Cost of entry includes range balls, a goodie bag for each golfer, and lunch at the course.
Openings for additional teams are still available, and organizers are hoping to fill them quickly.
“What better way to celebrate Father’s Day than to take in a round of golf and, at the same time, support some really deserving kids,” Gonzales said.
Kyra is determined to make the most of her opportunity.
“I plan to break the chain of my biological family,” she said. “I want to be able to travel and make myself happy. I want to have the life that as a I child I always wanted and dreamed of.”
If You Go
WHAT: Holiday with a Hero Golf Tournament
WHEN: 8:30 a.m. June 17
WHERE: Eagle Valley Golf Course, 3999 Centennial Park Dr.
INFO and REGISTRATION: holidaywithahero.com/events