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5th Annual Veterans Extravaganza set for March

In the patriotic community of Pahrump, veterans are a valued part of the population and are regularly the focus of public events, from fundraisers and festivals to ceremonies and observances. One such event is geared specifically toward connecting the valley’s former military members with much-needed resources and residents will soon have the chance to check out all that will be on exhibit during this year’s Veterans Extravaganza.

Set for the first Friday in March, the 5th Annual Veterans Extravaganza is already shaping up to be a robust gathering of entities dedicated to assisting those who have served.

Slated to participate are state and local veterans service officers, representatives from the Pahrump VA Clinic and VA patient advocates, members of the Prostate Cancer Support Group, VETrans, Vets Helping Vets, Alpha Stem, the Pahrump Holiday Task Force, the American Legion, the Marine Corps League, the Disabled American Veterans, Battle Born Quilts of Valor and the VA Southern Nevada Health System. There will also be information available on suicide prevention, VA benefits in general and the VA hospital in North Las Vegas.

In addition to the many informational booths, there will be raffles and refreshments for attendees to enjoy.

The Veterans Extravaganza got its start in 2017 with the help of then-Nevada Assemblyman James Oscarson, who had reached out to former military members in the valley with the aim of establishing a committee that would bring a valuable event to the community. The Committee for Veterans Issues was the result and its very first veterans’ engagement fair was an immediate hit. Dozens of vendors turned out, offering all kinds of information on services and resources available to veterans right here in the valley.

In the intervening years, changes have come to the committee, with Oscarson’s failed bid for re-election in 2018 leading to his successor, Gregory Hafen II, stepping in and Nevada State Senator Pete Goicoechea has gotten involved as well. A former leader for the event, Cles Saunders, also passed away last year, leading to the alteration of the event’s title to the “Cles Saunders Memorial Veterans Extravaganza”.

Changes not withstanding, each year the Veterans Extravaganza has grown and committee members are anticipating the 2023 event to be just as successful as those in the past.

“The Veterans Extravaganza was created in 2017 to ensure that veterans and their families are not forgotten,” the committee’s mission statement reads. “Veterans signed a ‘blank check’ by their willingness to sacrifice their lives in order to serve our nation. This is our way of ensuring that they have the opportunity to learn about and receive the benefits that they have already earned.”

“The vendors volunteer their time and effort to bring these opportunities to our veterans,” additional information on the extravaganza continues. “Whether it is educational, medical, housing or merely applying for earned benefits, everyone does it to inform the veterans and their families that they are not forgotten. You could say we are a one-stop shop to supply the veterans and their families with much-needed services that they might not know are available in the Pahrump area.”

Any business or organization that has veteran-related programs or services is encouraged to sign up and take part.

The 5th Annual Cles Saunders Memorial Veterans Extravaganza is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, March 3 inside the Bob Ruud Community Center, at the corner of Basin Avenue and Highway 160.

For more information contact Tom Waters at 702-379-3449, JoAnn Newcomb at 562-846-0664 or Frank Carbone at 775-209-0653.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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