“It could not have come at a better time,” said Dick Duffin, winner of the Pahrump Valley Rotary Club’s $10,000 Cash Extravaganza.
The self-described “Snowbird from Utah,” and his wife Millie, were both overwhelmed as his name was called during the annual event inside the Pahrump Nugget banquet room on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 27.
“This is phenomenal,” Duffin said, moments after he was handed the $10,000 check. “We’ve had a tough year this year, so we needed a lot of repairs on our motorhome, and this is going to help out greatly. We are snowbirds, and presently we have a lot at an RV park in town, where we are living right now. This win will really help us. It’s excellent. My wife Millie and me have participated in this event several times. But this is our first big win.”
The person who announced Duffin’s name was none other than auctioneer Ski Censki, who served as master of ceremonies.
Censki spoke of the important role Rotarians continually perform in the community.
“The job that the Rotarians do in this community is phenomenal,” he said. “A lot of people don’t understand that they go out and build handicap ramps on people’s homes and many other community projects, but today was a good example. The room was packed and everybody was in good humor. I always have fun doing this.”
Censki also gave thanks to all of the individuals and businesses who contributed their respective time and effort for the popular event.
“The good thing is that there are a lot of businesses that donated raffle prizes,” he said. “Everybody had a good time, and the most important thing is that we keep putting money back into the Rotarians, so they can continue to do the quality work that they do in this community. People don’t understand that there’s a lot of nonprofits that really go the extra mile, and I call them the unsung heroes.”
Additionally, Censki said many local families and individuals opt not to look for assistance, despite the benefits Rotarians are able and willing to provide.
“The people that benefit from it, are people who are really, really in need, but they are too proud to ask for help,” he lamented. “These folks step up to the plate and help those people out, so it’s a distinct pleasure for me to be invited to MC the event, which I thought was phenomenal. I have been participating in this event on and off for about 10 years.”
Current Rotary Club president, Janet Ufheil, echoed Censki’s description of the event, which bore a Halloween theme this year.
“We had a really nice turnout and it’s a really, really fun event,” she said. “Everyone who was here had a great time, and the food was excellent. The company, of course, can’t be beat because people of Pahrump are the best. We build handicap ramps pretty much once a month over the winter. The last one was just last Saturday.”
Ufheil also heaped praise on those who helped to make the event a success once again this year.
“We really, really appreciate everyone’s contributions,” she noted. “This was a wonderful, wonderful turnout and we are very grateful. There was just one empty table, but it didn’t stay empty for long. We had a lot of raffle prizes this year so there were a lot of things to give to the individuals and businesses in the community. I actually won a soap pump and caddy set and it’s going to go right by my sink at home. I also want to give a big thanks to Barbara Thompson, who arranges all of this. She is absolutely the Rotarian of the century.”
Sunday’s program also included scores of door prizes, a silent auction and a free photo booth for attendees to memorialize the event.
Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter: @pvtimes