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Mardi Gras benefits CASA, Husted at the museum

As the season for events has begun for the area, there are a few already on tap.

The Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is hosting its Mardi Gras fundraiser tomorrow evening at the Pahrump Nugget in the events center. In past years, the event has been held at Mountain Falls Grill Room but CASA Publicity Chairman Tonya Brum said the event has grown in popularity every year. “We didn’t want to have to turn anyone away and the event center is big enough to let us have room to set up and make more tables available.”

The doors will open at 6 p.m. for no host cocktails and a Cajun dinner is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $80 per person and $150 for a couple.

The worthwhile event helps the organization answer to the special needs of children. Brum said when a child is removed from their home, the court will appoint a CASA volunteer to advocate in the child’s best interest. “The goal is to become involved enough in that child’s life that we can make sound, educated recommendations to the court.”

Numerous festivities will take place throughout the evening guided by the humor of emcee Bill Loken of Pahrump Valley Winery.

There will be both live and silent auctions and Brum said some of the offerings in the silent auction include a huge number of themed baskets with everything in them from wine to movies on DVD.

“There is also a set of golf clubs and golf lessons provided by Sierra McKillips.” Brum said there is a porcelain doll, sweetheart packages, gift certificates and “it’s a great place to do some shopping for Valentine’s Day.” Brum said she does her Christmas shopping during the auctions. “You find some very nice things available.”

The live auction will really appeal to wine lovers. Brum said one of the sought-after items is a fully stocked wine rack, which holds 40 bottles. “We also will have jewelry from Michael E. Minden Jewelry of Las Vegas and there’s a two-day package from the Venetian which includes tickets to Rock of Ages and a day at the spa. Ski Censke will be the auctioneer.

Lynn Peterson and the Phatt Kattz will provide music for dancing and a floor show. The event raised between $20,000 and $25,000 last year, according to Brum.

The Pahrump Valley Museum and Historical Society will host its second in a series of lectures at 1 p.m. tomorrow at the museum on Basin Avenue.

Guest speaker Tom Husted has served as CEO of Valley Electric Association (VEA) since November 2006 and will speak about his career and the history of VEA.

Husted has led the rural utility business through remarkable growth and progress. He has more than 30 years of experience in the utility industry across the western U.S., including more than 20 years as a CEO.

Husted has initiated change and fostered development in the areas of management, power systems development, operations, marketing and communications. In 2005, he led a utility to develop a community communications system by opening up the utilities network and creating the largest Wi-Fi hotspot in the U.S., covering more than 1,500 square miles.

Husted has been actively involved in various utility and consumer power management organizations during his career.

He previously served as a member of the board of directors for a generation and transmission company in Kansas, and he presently sits on the board of directors for a power generation company in Arizona.

He has had multiple gubernatorial appointments to statewide task forces dealing with renewable energy and transmission issues and he is a member of the Nevada New Energy Industry Task Force.

The NyE Communities Coalition Teen Night will be from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. tonight at the NyECC Campus, 1021 E. Wilson Road. The event is free to middle school to high school aged youth for food, games and karaoke.

Also Friday evening is a presentation via video conference at the University of Nevada Extension offices, 1651 E. Calvada Boulevard.

The guest speakers will address those farmers who would like to market their produce to Las Vegas and St. George, Utah. The Friday presentation will be from 6 to 8 p.m.

On Saturday from 9:30 to 11 a.m., another presentation will address long-term experiences of growing and selling to Nevada markets and a presentation from Blue Lizzard Farm in Lincoln County.

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