VEGAS LOST: A life-changing summer at Henry's Place
LAS VEGAS (KSNV) —
We are in the middle of the Utah desert watching Las Vegas kids; all at risk, all living near crime and poverty today living their best lives. “It just blows me away how fast they can change with hope.” Dawn Prendes tells us.
This is Henry’s Place.
It’s a free camp for kids. This week it will house 15 girls. They will live here, ride horses here, sing songs, and learn how to work together. The idea, Dawn Prendes tells us, is simple. Take kids from rough impoverished neighborhoods and put them somewhere different. Take kids from struggling or broken families and wrap them with love.
“That’s what it is,” Prendes says while standing in a newly built amphitheater. “It's about showing them something they’ve never seen and impacting them and showing them love. Some of them just need a man to put their arm around them and give them a hug.”
Henry’s Place is a place of happiness born out of deep loss. Dawn’s first husband was LVMPD Sergeant Henry Prendes.
In 2006, he was killed while responding to a domestic violence call. Dawn tells us a camp for at-risk youth was his dream. “Henry went to camp as a kid and his life was changed", she says. Dawn worried the dream died with him. “It was still something I was passionate about, but how are we going to go on without Henry. He was the driving force.”
Instead, support grew and donations came in. She met her current husband who had land outside Cedar City and they started a golf tournament to try and raise funds for construction.
New water lines have been installed on the barren property. Plans for larger buildings are in the works. Now, they take middle school kids from Las Vegas community centers and bring them here for one week at a time. The kids stay at a camp in Cedar City overnight and spend their days at Henry’s Place.
We asked Dawn about the growing need in Las Vegas and she said, “I see the need growing, I think about when Henry died. They need to know that there’s hope and there’s something else out there for them.”