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Annual ‘Smiles Across Pahrump’ returns to Ian Deutch Memorial Park on Saturday

Family fun, food and frolicking are on tap this Saturday for the annual Pahrump Kiwanis Club’s “Smiles Across Pahrump” event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Ian Deutch Memorial Park.

The idea, organizers said, is to bring families in the community together for quality time.

Event Chair Shannon Moore said members of Kiwanis, along with the Pahrump Valley Rotary and the Lions Club, joined forces to host the event.

“We want families come out for a picnic, along with games and entertainment so they can spend some good quality time together,” she said. “We will also have a DJ providing music, along with a petting zoo and more. This event is completely free for the community, so we want all parents to come out and bring their kids.”

Moore said the event will allow for a special raffle, where one lucky youngster in attendance will have the opportunity to win a bicycle.

“The kids just have to write a brief essay on what a smile means to them,” she said. “The entries are not judged, but the kids just turn them in and they receive a raffle ticket, which will put them in the running to win the bicycle. This is been going on for several years here in town. I’d like to say we have been doing this for at least five years.”

Additionally, organizers decided to make a few alterations to the overall event this year.

“Instead of having just random raffle prizes, we are going to raffle off family games because we want to extend the family quality time beyond this event,” Moore said. “We are going to raffle off items that families can do together. We also have four tickets to the Bodies exhibit in Las Vegas as well as four tickets to the Titanic exhibit which will go in that raffle. It’s completely free. Families just have to show up and get their raffle ticket.”

Moore urged families to bring along blankets and chairs along with some refreshments, as the organizers will take care of the rest.

“The Pahrump Rotary Club is providing free hot dogs,” she said. “We do suggest families bring something to sit on and even a cooler full of drinks and snacks would be a good idea. If they feel the sun is going to be a problem, they may want to bring an umbrella for shade. We also want people know that there will be no sitting underneath the gazebos at the park because we will be having games and activities in those areas. Depending on how many people are coming, we would suggest people not bring pop-up tents to the park.”

Most importantly, Moore spoke about the man who pioneered the event, Butch “Patches” Harper, who passed away in February 2015.

Harper was also known as the unofficial “Goodwill Ambassador” for Pahrump.

“For me, this event is an amazing legacy to Butch Harper,” she said. “It was all in the name of Pahrump. He made us look very caring to the outside world. He was just an amazing person. You just could not be around without having him put a smile on your face. He just made everyone smile and it was very contagious. He cared so much about the community.”

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