Barrick is providing a $1 million gift to the Opportunity Village charity to fund the construction of a residential housing facility for adults with intellectual disabilities in Las Vegas. The initiative was recently announced at Opportunity Village’s annual Camelot Gala, which honored Barrick as corporation of the year. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval attended, as did Clark County Commissioners Lawrence Weekly, Marilyn Kirkpatrick and Barbara Buckley. Representing Barrick were Senior Executive Vice President, Kelvin Dushnisky, and Michael Brown, Vice President, Corporate and External Affairs for Barrick North America.
"Since our founding in 1983, Barrick has centered its work in Corporate Social Responsibility on the creation of educational and employment opportunities in the communities where we operate,” Dushnisky said in his address at the event. "It is a commitment our Founder and Chairman Peter Munk holds close. That commitment to education and employment extends to helping those in life who were dealt a little extra challenge, like the thousands of children and adults who are succeeding here at Opportunity Village.”
Recognizing that, for the first time in history, many individuals with intellectual disabilities are outliving their parents, Opportunity Village is building a world-class residential village for people with intellectual disabilities at its Engelstad Campus in Las Vegas. The "Barrick House” will be part of that village, providing safe, quality housing for up to six adults.
"Barrick Gold has proven to be an amazing and generous friend of Opportunity Village,” said Linda Smith, Chief Development Officer and Associate Executive Director of Opportunity Village. "We are thrilled to honor their commitment to southern Nevada at tonight’s Camelot Gala. They have truly set the gold standard when it comes to helping people with intellectual disabilities live better lives.”
Opportunity Village is Nevada’s largest private, not-for-profit community rehabilitation program, serving nearly 3,000 individuals with intellectual disabilities annually through vocational training, art and life skill enrichment, and advocacy and social recreation programs. Founded in 1954, the organization operates four employment training centers and a Thrift Store in southern Nevada. It also runs a vehicle donation program, and trains and places hundreds of adults in jobs throughout the community.
Barrick’s partnership with Opportunity Village is just the latest example of the company’s efforts to broaden its community outreach activities across Nevada, particularly southern Nevada, which has a large urban population center that continues to feel the aftershocks of a long recession. Already a long-time partner of Three Square, southern Nevada’s only food bank, Barrick has more recently established partnerships with southern-Nevada based organizations like Communities In Schools, the "I Have A Dream” Foundation and Spread the Word Nevada.
"Ten years ago, when a Nevada mining company spoke of community relations, that meant the remote rural towns of Elko, Carlin or Winnemucca,” Dushnisky said. "Today our definition of community means all of Nevada – rural, northern and most importantly, southern. In recent years, as the Great Recession deepened, we saw it necessary to ‘double-down’ on our commitment to the state, particularly here in Las Vegas. We established new strategic partnerships where Barrick executives could provide ‘time and talent’ to help organizations like Three Square, Communities in Schools and Opportunity Village. At Barrick, we understand that our business succeeds in rural Nevada only if it is a full partner with urban Nevada.”