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PAC sponsors show-stopping fundraiser for youth arts

The Pahrump Arts Council has recently embarked on a new mission to bring back some of its youth programs which have been missing in the community for the past several years and foster the ability to continue with existing programs.

PAC President Loretta Lindell said the board of directors is determined that 2014 will be the year of renewed emphasis on programs “especially for our youth.”

She said, “Humans possess the need and ability to create, to imagine, to feel an emotional response to their environment. No one possesses that creative imagination more fully than a child, one who is open to the world of new ideas and sensations.”

To support the renewed focus, PAC will hold its first major fundraiser, with all proceeds dedicated to youth programs and scholarships for students pursuing a secondary education in the arts.

Lindell said Sharon Cahlan initiated the idea for a fundraiser show titled “Come to the Cabaret.” The organizing committee has been working on the project since October 2012, and the results of its effort will be staged April 5 in the showroom of Saddle West Hotel &Casino.

Las Vegas personality “Dondino” has put together a Las Vegas-style show with his professional band and talented dancers. All the performers are donating their part in the show.

From the “old school,” Dondino’s stage presence, performance, and philosophy take the audience back to a time when entertainment was exciting. The show is close to him. Shaped by his involvement in humanitarian causes, Dondino’s career exemplifies civic responsibility.

He has been a featured performer on the MDA Telethon, Hadassah Charity, Help Them Walk Again, Cancer Society, Special Olympics, the Children’s Charity of Iowa, Nite of the Stars at Caesar’s Palace, St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, National AIDS Concert in Palm Springs, and many other great charity benefits.

Dondino immigrated with his family from Italy, arriving on American shores as a shy 10-year old speaking no English and never forgot his humble beginnings in a strange land with a strange language. With his life partner and wife, Donna Gummelt, he created the “Read to Me Foundation” which distributes new, hardcover, bilingual (English-Spanish) children’s books at no charge to Head Start programs, Ronald McDonald Houses, children’s hospitals, and charities in need of books for children to take home. The Read To Me Foundation is dedicated to promoting literacy for our children.

Lindell said PAC operates mainly from grants, which haven’t been as readily available as in the past. The trick to grants is that the money is only available if the organization can match it with in-kind contributions such as billable hours of the volunteers as well as cash.

Other programs PAC would like to fund include Art for Young People, Summer Art Camp, Artists in Schools, and the Poetry Out Loud competition at the high school level. Some are moving forward already and some need to be grant qualified with in-kind contributions.

The Missoula Children’s Theatre costs $3,100 in this area. The children audition on a Monday, rehearse after school during the week and perform a matinee and evening show on Saturday. PAC is responsible for housing the directors, and providing snacks or a meal daily for the children and directors, and a pianist for rehearsals and performances.

Lindell said, “All of the programs acquaint our youth with the arts in a boundless variety. “Keeper of the Wheeler Well,” also a PAC project, was grant funded.

The doors will open for “Come to the Cabaret” at 5 p.m. April 5. Tickets are $50 each and include a buffet dinner and the show. Dr. Jeff Geihs, Clark County School District Turnaround Schools program, will narrate and emcee the dramatic and surprising opening number for the show. All proceeds will benefit and strengthen PAC youth art programs and events.

For ticket reservations, call the PAC office, 775-751-6776. To order tickets online, visit the PAC website, www.pvpac.org.

For more information check the Pahrump Arts Council Facebook page.The buffet menu includes chicken Marsala, roast beef and all the trimmings, dessert, coffee, tea, water. There will be a number of gift basket pick-a-prize raffles and drawings.

All ticket holders will receive one chance on a featured prize of an overnight stay at the Mizpah Hotel in Tonopah and a turquoise mine tour. Jewelry of Romance has donated a gift certificate to have any turquoise found made into a piece of jewelry. A gas card is also included in the package.

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