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Silver Tappers ring in holiday season with annual benefit

Two performances of the Silver Tappers 23rd Annual Christmas Benefit Show were held Sunday evening at the Saddle West Hotel and Casino showroom. The event raised more than $3,800 for local charities.

Proceeds from the event will be awarded today at 1:30 p.m. by the community Christmas tree, which sits adjacent to the casino parking lot.

B. J. Hetrick-Irwin directed the benefit along with assistants Ms. Senior Golden Years USA Queen’s Court, Karen Potts and Nevada Silver Tappers. The ladies of the Silver Tappers work year-round as ambassadors for Pahrump. They rehearse three times or more a week perfecting dance routines.

“It’s not about me, it’s about my beautiful ladies and the community. These ladies are at the age of elegance (60+) and had never been on the stage before. They’ve raised their children and husbands and it is now their time of life,” said Irwin.

The show started out with Larry Farrell playing an overture on his steel guitar consisting of familiar Christmas melodies.

This year’s Master of Ceremonies was Steve Elliot who told an occasional joke in between performances, helping with audience patience during act changes and the occasional technical issues that arose during the show.

“The Nevada Silver Tappers Annual Christmas Benefit Show exemplifies community-based talent, inspiration and family values. I left the show with the true spirit of Christmas within me and confirming how very blessed all of Pahrump is to enjoy these beautiful ladies and all of the other performers,” said audience participant, Cindy McGrath.

The Silver Tappers performed with Ms. Senior Golden Years USA Queen’s Court singing “Ava Maria” and “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.” The Tappers performed several other dance routines, including a rendition of Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary.”

Maria Apodaca impersonated Tina Turner on center stage, eliciting a wild response from the crowd. The Tappers ended their performances with “Wooden Soldiers.”

“It’s a warm glorious feeling to know you’re giving of yourself to those less fortunate in our community. To be able to be up on the stage dancing with my dance sisters is a blessing to my life,” said Mitzi Sears.

There were several different artistic genres that performed at the benefit. Tom Saitta engaged his audience by singing traditional Christmas songs in the 40s and 50s crooner style. Johnny ‘V,’ local Elvis impersonator, was a big hit during his performances, handing out autographed silk scarves, teddy bears and kisses to female audience participants.

The benefit show also took on a modern nontraditional Christmas theme for a short time with the performance of AJ, Jay and Gary Trio performing original music of their group. The band consisted of a lead vocalist strumming a 12-string guitar, lead guitarists picking a six-string acoustic guitar and a drummer performing on a djembe, bongos, chimes and foot pedal tambourine.

Ventriloquist Linda Groover and her puppet “Angel” thrilled audiences with their comedy routine intertwined with short spurts of a traditional Christmas song sung by “Angel.”

Scotties Scarlet, a local small dance troupe, performed a unique dance routine entitled “Marshmallow World.”

Vocalist Tyrell Jones gave a soulful Christmas performance in traditional gospel style. His emotional rendition of traditional Christmas songs moved the audience toward enthusiastic applause.

Vocalists Bobby Johnson and Laura Stabenow sang two duets of Contemporary Christian music. The blending of their two voices was flawless in their performance. These two seasoned performers delivered a performance that had the audience giving a standing ovation.

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