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PHOTOS: Soroptimist’s Mardi Gras raises $31k at sold out event

“The one thing we heard over and over again was, it was the best one yet!”

This was the enthusiastic statement offered by Soroptimist International Pahrump Valley President Linda Fitzgibbons following the club’s annual Mardi Gras fundraiser, which took place this past Saturday and was for the very first time a completely sold-out affair.

The event took place Feb. 3 inside the Pahrump Nugget and the venue was decked out in Mardi Gras traditional carnival style, with many patrons getting in on the fun with themed outfits and masks as well.

“The night was excellent!” Fitzgibbons raved afterward. “We had a wonderful turnout, the crowd was just having the best time and seemed to really enjoy themselves. We changed up the menu this year by upgrading to surf-and-turf, which was very well received. We got really positive feedback on the food. And we also had some of the best auction items we have ever had.”

Included in the prizes up for grabs that evening were two Golden Knights tickets donated by Robin Holsteth, a Pit Boss Navigator BBQ Grill from Nancy Davis, South Point 400 NASCAR Cup Race tickets from South Point Hotel and Casino, gold coin from Westfield Jewelers, an engraved yard stone from Rhino Graphics Written in Stone, a Casablanca Hotel and Golf package from Mesquite Gaming and an Orleans hotel and dinner package from Boyd Gaming. Mardi Gras-goers were also able to bid on tickets to Burning Man and certificates for Pink Jeep Tours, too, and there was an assortment of silent auction items as well as the “Purse-a-Palooza”, the lucky winner of which went home with over $2,000 worth of services.

The evening included a fun feature dubbed the Dessert Dash, which was headed up this year by Soroptimist and Fifth Judicial District Court Judge Kim Wanker.

“Kim was the chair for our Dessert Dash and her goal was to raise $4,000. Well, she surpassed that goal and raised just over $5,000,” a delighted Fitzgibbons detailed. “The Dessert Dash, auction and raffle alone raised $17,505 and our gross for the entire event was $31,500.”

The money raised at Mardi Gras is used primarily to fund one of the club’s flagship programs, the Live Your Dream award. As part of its mission to provide women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment, the local Soroptimist club offers this award to women who are the head of their household and are attending school to better themselves and the lives of their children.

“We had three winners for the Live Your Dream award this year, which is one more than last year,” Fitzgibbons stated. “Our winners for 2024 were Raquel Guerra, Amanda Daziel and Anahi Nunez.”

Also on the program for the night were moments of recognition for two local ladies, who were each presented with awards to honor their various civically-minded activities.

“One way we acknowledge women is through the Soroptimist Ruby Award,” Fitzgibbons explained. “This woman has made contributions to women and/or girls in our community and cannot be a Soroptimist member. The winner of the Ruby Award this year was Amy Carlson. Amy will have $500 donated to the charity of her choice, in her name. The last award we give is to a woman or man in our community who goes above and beyond to help our community members through their volunteer service. The winner this year was Reva Braun.”

The sponsors for Mardi Gras were a big part of the reason the event’s total came to such an incredible amount. The entire club offered their thanks for those who contributed through sponsorship packages. Platinum sponsors included Gunny’s A/C and Heating, Leeward Solar Power, Pelican Psychiatric and Valley Electric Association. Gold sponsors were Robin Holsteth Esq. Attorney at Law, Urban Ranch, Durette Candito Designs. Bronze sponsors included Wanker, the Band Castle, Realtor Marianne Yoffee, Pahrump Print Solutions, Living Free Health and Fitness, Tina Agoes, New American Funding, Nevada Homes, Custom Home Builders and Jazzercise Pahrump.

“I would like to acknowledge our members as being major contributors to the silent auction, live auction, Dessert Dash and as volunteers giving their time during the event,” Fitzgibbons added. “None of this would have happened without our membership. And we’d also like to give a big thank you to Lana Will and Jason Hilling from the Pahrump Nugget, who worked very hard to accommodate our large party and all of our needs.”

The Soroptimist club is always looking for new members to join in the mission and Fitzgibbons encouraged residents to check the group out.

“If you’re interested in belonging to a global volunteer organization that works hard for our local community, with a focus on helping women and girls, Soroptimist International Pahrump Valley would like to invite you to join us,” Fitzgibbons concluded. “We meet the first and third Tuesday of each month at the NyE Communities Coalition Activities Center. Come to one of our meetings and learn more about what we do!”

For more information visit SoroptimistPV.com

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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