The Nevada Silver Tappers took to the stage this past Sunday for the organization’s 31st Annual Christmas Benefit Show, which offered patrons the chance to revel in a variety of seasonal performances.
The show did more than assuage the community’s appetite for holiday entertainment. It also brought in money to feed the valley’s homebound seniors, with all funds raised going to the Pahrump Senior Center and its Meals on Wheels program.
“It was absolutely wonderful!” Nevada Silver Tappers founder B.J. Hetrick-Irwin gushed following the event.
“All of our performers were just amazing, there is such talent in our community. Everything went very smoothly, I was so pleased with it. That opening number with the angels, that was incredible and those little girls who did the belly dancing! It was wonderful, really it was. And I am so proud of this community for coming out like they always do to support us. The show was a big success.”
Kicking off at 3 p.m. inside the Saddle West Showroom, the Christmas benefit show included acts from the Nevada Silver Tappers, a dance troupe made up of women aged 50 years or better, along with an opening from members of the Tappers’ sister organization, Ms. Senior Golden Years, and several guest performances. Seamlessly narrating the show that afternoon was Hetrick-Irwin’s granddaughter, Stephani Elliott, who welcomed an enthusiastic crowd before directing everyone’s attention to the stage.
“When I think about the holidays, so many wonderful memories and traditions come to mind. This is the time of year that families gather and children, both naughty and nice, anticipate their long-awaited visit from Santa,” Elliott told the audience of more than 200. “The annual tradition of our benefit show starts with the lighting of the Christmas tree and tonight, we have the 2022 Ms. Senior Golden Years USA Queen, Ellie Wilshusen, who will set the stage for our very own Nevada Silver Tappers.”
Wilshusen, flanked by two other Golden Years ladies, then floated into the spotlight to carry the audience into an hour’s worth of Christmas magic. Following the lighting of the Christmas tree, regular benefit show guest performer Bill Watson serenaded the crowd with the “Christmas Song”, after which the Silver Tappers glided into their places for a dance routine choreographed to “Feliz Navidad” and the entertainment just kept coming.
One of Hetrick-Irwin’s favorite acts of the night, the Essential Evolution Belly Dance Troupe took to the stage next, with youngsters Freya, Iris, Whitney, Dixie and Violet dancing to the Alvin and the Chipmunks version of “Jingle Bells”. Local Elvis impersonator Johnny V took part in the show too, belting out a Christmas tune while tossing teddy bears into the eager audience. The Silver Tappers then returned to the stage for “We Need a Little Christmas” and their own rendition of “Jingle Bells”. Watson offered a second song for the evening, singing “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” before yielding the stage for a performance paying homage to the iconic Christmas routine in the movie “Mean Girls”, “Jingle Bell Rock”.
Teri Rogers then hit the floor for a rousing performance she choreographed herself, a dance to When It Comes to Christmas, which was followed by Shelley Fisher, who belted out Run, Run Rudolph.
A brief intermission was then held, giving Santa and Mrs. Claus the chance to “pass the stocking” around the those in the audience, who were asked to give from the hearts to the Meals on Wheels cause and who responded with obvious readiness.
Capping off the afternoon of festive entertainment were the Nevada Silver Tappers with the group’s traditional end to the Christmas benefit show, the somber yet touching performance of the Wooden Soldiers.
Hetrick-Irwin and the Silver Tappers now are planning to do a formal check presentation to Pahrump Senior Center Site Manager Anne Harris so for the time being, she’s keeping the total raised on Sunday hush-hush. The exact amount that was brought in during the Christmas benefit show will be revealed at the presentation ceremony, which will be held next week. Readers can look for coverage of the presentation in an upcoming edition of the Pahrump Valley Times.
Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at firstname.lastname@example.org