Gwen Pradere is the founder and Executive Director of Friends to All, Inc., a Nevada 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Corporation.
In 1999 Gwen joined Carson City Santa Ray Smith in visits to elderly residents of a nursing home. The visit from Santa brought so much joy and cheer, she wanted to continue the event annually. She aspired to expand it to reach more seniors living in town with little or no family nearby and many with limited resources. It began with a small group of volunteers and has grown to over 50 volunteers, creating around 15 teams of Santa’s and Helper’s. The organization visits over 200 seniors every year, providing a photo with Santa and gifts made possible through donations provided by the community.
Gwen has lived in Carson City since 1994 coming from Riverside, California. Her background includes sales and marketing for a regional shopping center in Southern California, human resources, and office management in the construction and architectural fields. This background gave her the foundation to start her own business in 1998, a corporate formation business.
In addition to Friends to All, Gwen was on the organizing board of the Downtown Carson City Business District Association and served on the Board of Trustees of the Northern Nevada Railway Foundation.
Her vision for the future of Friends to All would be to bring friendship, joy, and support to seniors throughout the year as well as during the Christmas holiday season. And always, touching hearts with a visit!
Collette owns and operates A+ Documents located at 411 W. Third Street, which is the headquarters for Friends to All. Collette started volunteering for Friends to All in 2011 and has been with the group since that time, sun or snow delivering gifts to Carson City Seniors.
“I remember fondly growing up in Carson City, where my mother would “adopt” a senior who didn’t have family nearby. We would visit them weekly, take them shopping and just generally watch out for them. When I grew up and had children of my own, they were tasked with caring for our elderly neighbors by mowing their lawns, walking their dogs and just visiting. Both of my children, to this day help out seniors in their neighborhoods. So, it was a natural step for me to volunteer for Friends to All and I truly enjoy the visits.”