From Sesame Street to Charlie Rose and Antiques Roadshow, northern Nevada families have spent 30 years watching KNPB Public Broadcasting and a local couple is part of the team that has kept it on the air for so many years. However, that is not the only contribution to the community made by Gail and John Sande, III.
We met up with John and Gail in their wine cellar, where hundreds of bottles are aged to perfection. Collecting rare vintages is a passion for the pair. However, their collection at home is dwarfed by what they have uncorked in this community. John grew up here and attended Reno High School, then played football at Stanford and studied law at Harvard. Gail moved here during college and graduated from the University of Nevada before meeting John. "We met in 1975. Easter Sunday at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church here in Reno at California and Arlington." They married and raised two boys, which sparked Gail's involvement in one particular organization - KNPB Public Broadcasting.
"Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers; I thought, well, since we're listening and watching and using their service, we should be contributing," explained Gail. Along with monetary donations, Gail has also served on the KNPB Board of Trustees for more than a decade and in many leadership roles. John also donated his talents. "I was vice-chair of their capital campaigns for their new building and when they converted to digital."
Their local support does not end there. Gail is chairing the Go Red for Women luncheon this year that raises money and awareness of heart disease. "Once I heard the statistic that one in three people will die of heart disease - that convinced me that something had to be done."
John, who handled the Bill Harrah estate, was instrumental in the start-up of the National Automobile Museum, where he served on the board for 15 years. He also served as Chairman of the Reno-Tahoe Open; an event that he says is helping to re-brand Reno.
"I think the RTO really does that because if people see Montreux Golf Course and Mt. Rose, they go and say that is a beautiful spot." A beautiful spot and a hometown that John and Gail hope will continue to age to perfection, "I think we have to spend a lot more time and effort trying to educate people as to what a great place it is to visit and have business." Gail adds, "We've been the best-kept secret for a long time."
John and Gail Sande will be celebrated for their contributions to our community at KNPB's annual Aged to Perfection Gala happening Thursday, October 10 at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino. A hosted cocktail reception starts at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7 p.m. To buy tickets, log onto www.knpb.org/ and click on the "Aged to Perfection" link.
Written by Kristen Remington