Aid sought for friend in need

A face familiar to customers at United Rentals hasn't been seen in the store the past week.

Reece Harrill, branch manager for the Carson City and South Lake Tahoe stores, was told by doctors he has two brain tumors.

While the prognosis is favorable and Harrill is scheduled to undergo surgery Wednesday at Washoe Medical Center in Reno, the fiscal prognosis is not, according to Janice Clements, assistant branch manager at United Rentals.

"We have good medical coverage (at United Rentals)," she said. "But it's going to go above and beyond. We're talking this is going to be a huge financial thing for him and his family."

Harrill, a 41-year-old Carson City resident, has worked for years in the rental business. He was with CC Rentals in Carson City before it became United Rentals in 1998.

"We miss him," said employee Steve Pontes, who has worked for Harrill for four years. "I hope to God, and I pray for him that everything goes good. He's the best boss I've ever worked for and he's a very good friend."

Employees were shocked to find out about the two tumors, which were revealed Sept. 20 in an MRI. Harrill told Clements who told his other employees, and they immediately decided to do something.

An account was opened in Harrill's name at the Business Bank of Nevada, number 4212304. Donations may be made at any branch.

"He's been here most of his life," Clements said. "He's done so much for the high school. We'd just like to raise as much as we can."

United Rentals helped Boy Scout Michael Barnes complete his Eagle Scout project at the historic Empire Cemetery in Carson City, helped last year's Advocates to End Domestic Violence share-your-food drive and helped rebuild the C Hill flag.

"A lot of people that come in regularly to the store are concerned," said Pontes. "Reece is a very strong person and he doesn't catch me as the type that wants people to feel sorry for him."

Employees say Reece has given his own money in support of bowling and Little League teams.

"That's the kind of person he is. He would do things out of his pocket," Clements said. Reece has also been known to give for event after event at Carson High School.

Ron McNutt, athletic director at Carson High School, said "We've knocked on his door many many times for help. And, of course, I can't remember him ever saying no to anything in any way, shape or form."

Harrill had been having headaches, which led him to seek medical help.

"We were all totally devastated," Clements said. "He is just a wonderful person to work with. He's a good friend and very supportive."

11 Contact reporter Maggie O'Neill at or 881-1219.


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