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Mardi Gras Ball fundraiser nets $11,000

With upward of 100 attendees, the annual Mardi Gras Ball fundraiser, benefiting the Soroptimist International Pahrump Valley, was a smashing success, according to Publicity Coordinator Tonya Brum.

“We grossed over $11,000, and we are just thrilled,” Brum said. “The event was a lot of fun, we had a lot of great feedback and it ran very smoothly. We all love Mardi Gras. Singer Lynn Peterson provided the entertainment and all of the music she performed was kind of like sing-along music, so there were a lot of very familiar songs. I would like to personally thank Pahrump business owner Marty Greenfield, who donated two Las Vegas Raiders tickets for the live auction. That was a big surprise because we did not expect that.”

Soroptimist member and Mardi Gras Ball Dinner Committee member Linda Fitzgibbons emceed the event, after Soroptimist Board Officer Willi Baer experienced issues with her voice during the event on Feb. 29.

“I became her voice, and I was basically her mouthpiece for the evening,” Fitzgibbons said. “It was a lot of fun, and of course being a charter member of Soroptimist, I felt very comfortable with doing that.”

Fitzgibbons also extolled the efforts of auctioneer Ski Censke, who urged those in attendance to open their wallets, as he brought much laughter to the Pahrump Nugget Banquet Room with his sharp wit and special sense of humor.

“There were people there that have never been to a fundraising event with Ski, so they were having the best time,” she said. “I got a lot of feedback from them and they said Ski really livened up the place by bringing that party atmosphere that goes along with Mardi Gras. We couldn’t do it without Ski. Everybody really enjoyed it and it was very well received. I think it turned out really nice again this year. I also want to thank all of the sponsors that we had. They are super important to us because we wouldn’t be able to do this without them. They are hugely important to the success of this program.”

The event also allowed for the recognition of this year’s honorees, which included Crystal Dabrowski, a fine arts teacher at Pahrump Valley High School, Linda Wright, who, among many local organizations, is deeply involved with Pahrump’s VFW Auxiliary, and B.J. Hetrick-Irwin, founder of the Nevada Silver Tappers, who routinely hosts fundraisers for area organizations.

Fitzgibbons, meanwhile, made sure to also mention that the Soroptimist International of Pahrump Valley has been in existence for roughly 10 years.

“We have been doing different fundraisers over the years,” she said. “We do our Bunco fundraiser, and our Fashion Show fundraiser. We’ve done other types of fundraisers in the past, but this one really kicks it up to the next level. I also want to make sure that everybody understands the mission of Soroptimist International of Pahrump Valley, about why we are here and what we do for the community, because it’s a very important role. We want to make sure that we are supporting both single and married women in our community. It is a professional women’s organization and it is international, which a lot of people had no idea. The organization has been around since 1922, and the mission that goes behind that is very incredible.”

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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