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When it comes to volunteerism, Pahrump certainly has its fair share of enthusiastic participants.

This month, a dozen of the most valuable volunteers in the valley were celebrated for their contributions to the community at the Inaugural Hope Floats Volunteer Recognition Luncheon.

Hosted by the NyE Communities Coalition, the Hope Floats Luncheon took place Saturday, May 4 inside the NyECC Activities Center and event organizers were thrilled with the results.

“The Hope Floats event turned out beautifully, we were all so pleased with the results,” NyECC Board President and event committee chair Willi Baer told the Pahrump Valley Times afterward. “Because the coalition is the backbone and support of so many nonprofit programs that started up in Pahrump, CEO Stacy Smith and the NyECC board definitely thought it was time that those volunteer overachievers should be recognized by their peers.”

Smith said she too was delighted with this first-time event, which the coalition has every intention of making an annual tradition.

“I was so happy with the opportunity for our community to acknowledge all of our volunteers. It was amazing to hear all of the stories about the service of the recipients,” Smith remarked. “We have wanted to do an event to recognize volunteers for years and this is our first, but it is so important to us to continue to do this.”

The Hope Floats event kicked off with a welcome from Smith before the eager diners were able to dig into their delicious fare. Tables with floral garden decorations were preset with individual charcuterie for every diner and the buffet was laden with spring-inspired cuisine, including quiche, three-bean salad and a kale and tomato salad, all topped off with root beer floats for dessert.

The Classical Duo, made up of Barbara Edwards on the viola and Patty Henderson on the violin, provided musical accompaniment for the event too, which Baer described as, “lovely, soothing and very enjoyable.”

Once everyone’s appetite had been satisfied, Baer and NyECC President-Elect Ryan Muccio took to the stage for the formal awards presentation. All of those who were nominated for the Hope Floats Community Awards received a certificate of appreciation for their efforts but it was the dozen selected as the ultimate winners who were the guests of honor at the luncheon, where they too received certificates along with the adulation of the roughly 100 attendees.

The afternoon continued with remarks from keynote speakers, which included Charli Bruce and Shannon Arimura, both of whom are with Nevada Volunteers. Bruce is an AmeriCorps program officer while Arimura is the program officer for the nonprofit’s Volunteer Generation Fund and each spoke about the importance of volunteering, as well as offering recognition to those who do volunteer.

The pick-a-prize, door prize and 50/50 raffle concluded the day.

The NyECC offered a special shout-out of thanks to Marissa Nepote and Shirley Patterson, who catered the luncheon, as well as the sponsors of the event, including Desert View Hospital, Nevada Realty, Arts Collective of Nye County, Valley Electric, Newvine Law, Elaine Trent and Bill Howard, L&J Pools and Great Basin College.

“We really appreciate all of the sponsors, volunteers, board members, individuals who made nominations and the nominees and awardees,” Smith enthused, while Baer added, “And the luncheon committee did an amazing job, I am so proud of them.”

For more information on the NyECC visit NyECC.org or call 775-727-9970.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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