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PHOTOS: Soroptomist Mardis Gras party at Pahrump Nugget

Updated February 9, 2023 - 12:44 pm

Mardi Gras opened to a nearly sold-out crowd the evening of Saturday, Feb. 4 as community members turned out in force to support Soroptimist International Pahrump Valley.

Pahrump Nugget Events Center was transformed into one bathed in purple and green light, with glittering masks adorning many faces and carnival-themed garb seen at every turn. Laughter and chatter filled with air as guests settled in for the night’s festivities, which included a prime-rib dinner and a “Dessert Dash”, both live and silent auctions, raffles, entertainment and plenty of door prizes.

When all the fun and excitement came to an end and Soroptimist members were able to calculate the revenue from the fundraiser, they were thrilled to announced that the 2023 Mardi Gras brought in a total of $22,855.

“The Mardi Gras event went very well!” Soroptimist International Pahrump Valley President Linda Fitzgibbons enthused. “Every year we set a goal to raise more funds, do new activities and give away more money to our scholarship winners, and we were able to accomplish all of those goals.”

Of the more than $22,000 raised, $2,460 came from the silent auction and a further $3,970 was garnered through the live auction. The Dessert Dash, featuring a variety of homemade confections, brought in $3,120.

The “Purse-a-Palooza” was comprised of an enormous purse filled with an assortment of gift certificates, and was a new feature incorporated this year, which raised $1,880 and the the 50/50 raffle brought in $640.

“The winner of the 50/50, John Wehrly, even donated his portion back to the club,” Fitzgibbons remarked with evident delight.

Aside from raising money to help continue its charitable efforts, the Mardi Gras event served as an opportunity to honor some special ladies in the community. Fitzgibbons said this was a big highlight of the evening and a great representation of the aim of Soroptimist International.

“We were able to provide two scholarships this year to our ‘Live Your Dream’ award winners, Shauna ‘Shay’ Dragna and Dana Pasko,” Fitzgibbons detailed. “Our Ruby Award went to Patti Vitz, owner of Sunflower Fashions, and our Community Award went to Lynn Peterson, singer and community volunteer. These awards go hand-in-hand with what Soroptimist International Pahrump Valley is all about and supports our mission of improving the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment.”

As Fitzgibbons noted, putting together the group’s annual Mardi Gras fundraiser is no walk in the park, taking a large amount of energy and dedication to get done. “This event is a huge undertaking and our chair Willi Baer and her committee did an outstanding job,” Fitzgibbons raved. “We had 30 Soroptimist members in attendance who were there to make sure everyone was having a good time.”

Baer and her fellow event committee members may have done a wonderful job on their end but they could not have pulled Mardi Gras off with such success without some substantial contributions from the community. Fitzgibbons took a moment to ensure that those who generously offered their time, talent and sponsorship knew just how appreciative she and the entire club are.

“We had amazing support for our sponsors this year,” she stated. “The Gold Sponsors were Gunny’s A/C and Heating and Valley Electric. Our Silver Sponsors were Living Free Health and Fitness and Global Network International. Our Bronze Sponsors included Judge Kim Wanker, Nevada Home Builders, Nye County Commissioner Debra Strickland, Bolton Wines & Wine Down, the Nevada Silver Tappers, Inspirations Senior Living, Classic Realty and Marianna Yoffee and Pelican Psychiatry.

“Of course, we also had our live auction sponsors of Marty Greenfield, Margaret Ibbotson ‘Silver Fox Trust’, Wagner Allstate Insurance, South Point Hotel and Casino, Dina Williamson-Erdag and Artesian Cellars,” Fitzgibbons continued. “And we couldn’t have provided the whole fun experience without the donation of time from many people, including Lynn Peterson, our vocal entertainer for the evening, and Todd and Elena from Pahrump Photography who provided our patrons with beautiful, professional pictures. We wouldn’t be able to do this event without all of our sponsors. A huge thank you to them all!”

As if $22,000-plus raised and a fabulous time had by all was not enough, Fitzgibbons noted that Mardi Gras also resulted in an extra cherry on top, that of new membership. “The bonus was that we also got three new members from the event. Our club is now 42 members strong,” she detailed. “If anyone is interested in learning more about Soroptimist Pahrump Valley and what we do, we have a new website www.SoroptimistPV.com or you can call me, the club president, at 775-765-1261.”

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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