Donor Profile: Sandy & John Raffealli
By Kristen Kennedy, Director of Resource Development
Sandy Pearce and John Raffealli, both from different parts of the country, met in Oklahoma in 1969, when they were poverty workers for Volunteers in Service to America. Sandy was born and raised in the west and graduated from University of Nevada, Reno. John, an eastern fellow, graduated from Fordham University in New York City. Both their early careers were for non-profits with John teaching and coaching in a junior high school and Sandy running a women’s resource center and rape crisis center.
After ten years in Oklahoma City and the birth of their only child, Lydia, they came to Reno where John joined Sandy’s dad, Bill Pearce, in the car business. Sandy went to work in banking but eventually joined her father as well. The tradition has continued with Lydia and her husband, Matt, now working with them in the dealership.
As local business people, the Pearce, Raffealli and now Meyer families have always felt the need to be part of the community and to give back wherever and whenever possible. “Our business success is intertwined with the health of everyone in our community,” says Sandy. “For that reason we have been involved with many organizations in the community whose goals are the health and vitality of all our citizens.”
The Raffealli’s inherited their support and commitment to the Boys & Girls Club from Bill Pearce who was a strong supporter of the organization for many years. “Continuing his support has helped us to foster an organization whose goals we strongly support: a safe, nurturing environment where children and families can reach their potential,” says Sandy. “Along the way we have made some terrific friends whose commitment to the Club we greatly admire. We are proud of the legacy we are able to continue.”