CASA Crab Fest in Pahrump brings in $25K

The weather may have been gloomy on Saturday, March 2 but the atmosphere inside the NyE Communities Coalition Activities Center was anything but as valley residents enjoyed an evening of fundraising festivities at the 8th Annual CASA Crab Fest.

Pioneer Territory Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA as it is more commonly known, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a voice for children in the foster care system. Every year the group hosts fundraisers such as Crab Fest in order to ensure its operation continues to run strong and the community always seems to respond in a generous fashion.

This year’s Crab Fest was yet again an enormous success, with event organizers bubbling with enthusiasm following the shindig.

“I am so excited how Crab Fest went this year. It was a sold-out event, we had a wonderful group of sponsors and had very generous donations. The community definitely rose to the occasion!” CASA Executive Director Kathie McKenna raved, reporting that attendance was even higher than last year at 192 patrons.

The event included a banquet of delectable goodies, such as freshly flown in Dungeness crab, savory chicken, baked beans, coleslaw and dessert, along with a vast array of prizes for attendees to vie over. There were raffles prizes up for grabs and live and silent auctions, with all of the items donated by area businesses, organizations and individuals.

“We had 15 pick-a-prize raffles, 27 silent auction items and 15 live auction items. All total, there was over $10,000 in prizes to be raffled and auctioned,” McKenna detailed, noting that because of the incredible generosity of the donors, the group was even able to add an extra prize this year. In the past, Crab Fest has included a “crab net” containing various gift cards and certificates. This year, a “shrimp net” was also included, with the crab net prize worth more than $1,000 and the shrimp net totaling over $500.

McKenna said when all was said and done, over $25,000 was raised that Saturday night.

“I would love to thank all of our sponsors,” McKenna stated, expressing thanks to Gunny’s Air Conditioning and Heating, Desert View Hospital, Saitta Trudeau dealership, Marty Greenfield Jewelers, onezerOne Technologies, Joe’s Sanitation, Valley Electric Association and Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly. “Also, I would like to thank all of the donors who provided items for our auction and raffles. Again, without the community’s support, our program would not exist. This community rocks!” she said with evident delight.

Overview of the organization

“CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates. Pioneer Territory CASA trains volunteers to be advocates for foster children in the court system; we are the voice of the child,” McKenna explained for those who may not be familiar with CASA’s work. “Our mission is to have one advocate for every set of siblings in the foster system in the Fifth Judicial District. Without this event, and the other events we hold, we would not have enough monies to keep the program going. I am ecstatic at how the community steps up to our events!”

McKenna stated that the organization currently has 17 volunteer advocates who serve 29 foster children. However, there are still another 33 foster youth waiting for an advocate, she said, so the need for even more volunteers is always present. There is some exciting news on that front, McKenna added, remarking that there are another 14 volunteers signed up for the next CASA training course, which begins Saturday, March 9.

“If anyone is interested, it is not too late,” McKenna said. “They can call us at 775-505-2272 (CASA) or stop by the office at 1321 S. Hwy 160, Suite 9A. People can also go to our website at”

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at

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