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PHOTOS: Crab Fest fundraiser snaps up record-setting $36k for foster youth

Local foster youth advocacy just got a big boost thanks to the generosity shown by the more than 200 people who took part in the 2024 Crab Fest.

Once again, the fundraising event smashed its previous record, bringing in over $36,000 for Advocates for Children Of Rural Nevada, a nonprofit with the mission of providing volunteer advocates for children as they navigate through the foster care system.

“It was a great event, as always,” ACORN Executive Director Kathie McKenna remarked after all the feasting and auction fun was over. “We had a full house, roughly 210 people! NyE Communities Coalition was so gracious to allow us to host Crab Fest there again.”

Crab Fest has become an incredibly popular part of Pahrump’s annual events calendar, so much so that McKenna reported tickets were sold-out within just three days. “Never have we sold them so quickly!” she raved.

To feed the eager crowd, ACORN purchased enough Dungeness crab to ensure no one would go home hungry, flying in 800 pounds total, fresh for the event. Accompanying the crab was roasted chicken, along with a variety of sides and it was clear by the exclamations of delight that the meal was appreciated. To wash it all down, there were several beverage options and as a new element to the feast, the Wine Down served up non-alcoholic slushes.

After everyone was stuffed, there was yet more crab left over and this was incorporated into the evening’s auction, giving patrons the chance to take some of the succulent shellfish home with them.

The auctions, both silent and live, included a variety of other highly-sought-after prizes and there were some raffles to snap up as well.

“We had baseball memorabilia from the collection of Joe Pollock, a quilt from Sue Lock of The Lock Nest, a 2nd Amendment one-year membership, Golden Knights tickets from the Law Office of Robin Holseth, a 20-person slushy party from Artesian Cellars, coins donated by Gunny’s and Estate 411, facial care from Aesthetic Enhancements, tanning from After Glo, teeth whitening from Wulf Ink and two hair care certificates from Honey &Sage, Ali and Krissy. Great items all around!” McKenna enthused. “The auctions and raffles alone brought in $16,000.”

McKenna offered her thanks to everyone who helped make the event a success, from volunteers working the event, to attendees, to those who donated to the cause. A special thanks goes to the event’s sponsors, including Captain’s Table sponsors 775.FYI, Waste Connections, Brian Kunzi, Shanna Williams, Desert View Hospital, Gunny’s A/C and Heating, Leeward Renewable Energy, Law Office of Robin Holseth, Valley Electric Association, Meadows Bank, Artesian Cellars, Ponderosa Dairy and The Prickly Pears. Sponsors purchasing a Pirates Table included Judge Kim Wanker, Paul Healey and Sons CPA and KNYE Radio.

ACORN was originally founded as Pioneer Territory Court Appointed Special Advocates, or PT CASA. However, the group made the decision last year to pull away from the national organization in order to relieve itself of the burden of the some of CASA’s policies, which do not always reflect the challenges faced by rural Nevada. And though the name has been changed, the work that ACORN does has not.

“Everyone has embraced our new name change. They see the ACORN as a sign of renewal, growth and hope,” McKenna told the Pahrump Valley Times.

“Primarily serving Nye and Esmeralda counties in Southern Nevada, we train and support advocates who represent neglected or abused children in the foster care system - by giving them a voice in the court system,” the ACORN website details. “On average, it only takes about 3-4 hours per month of your time! We provide all of the training and ongoing support and guidance you will need.”

For more information or to learn how to become an ACORN volunteer advocate visit ACORNV.org

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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