By KRISTI TAUSINGA
A group of Mesquite residents got together last week to raise funds for its local first responders.
The “Sky’s the Limit” silent auction fundraiser brought together local groups, businesses and individuals to raise money for the cause. In the two hour span of the event, more than $2,600 was raised to benefit both the Mesquite Police Department and Mesquite Fire and Rescue.
“Every penny of the money raised today will be given to the two departments for new equipment and training,” said event organizer Rabbi Arthur Zuckerman of Mesquite.
The fundraiser included a silent auction featuring dozens of prized items that had been donated by several businesses and individuals in the community. These included items such as homemade tumblers, golf and hotel packages, haircuts and nail treatments, handmade gun safes and other items up for auction.
“The businesses in the community were so supportive in this effort,” said Zuckerman. “I approached many of them asking for auction items and the majority of them just immediately said, ‘Sure! What do you need us to do. We are happy to help.’”
Auction item donors included Casablanca Resort, Gregory’s Grill, Chicago Greek, Katherine’s Steakhouse, Eureka Town Square, Conestoga Golf Club, Coyote Willows, Casablanca Golf Club, Danielle’s Chocolates and Popcorn, Big-O Tires, GRI Firearms, High Desert Home Furnishings, Fringe Salon, A-1 Automotive, Shareen’s Hair and Nails, Baja Imports, Boulevard Home Furnishings, Hole Foods Bakery, Mesquite Quality Auto Detail, Arvada Springs Ranch, Mesquite Gaming and Ken Jesiel.
Volunteers also helped in putting on the luncheon event. Pastor Wendy Swanson of Mesquite United Methodist Church offered the use of her church building for the event to take place.
Several members of the Mesquite United Methodist congregation and other volunteers came together to prepare, cook and serve the food for the lunch.
All of the food was donated by Virgin Valley Family Services.
For a minimal fee of $5.00, participants enjoyed a hearty lunch of spaghetti with homemade sauce, salad, bread and cake. The $5.00 donation also included a raffle ticket to win one of the four raffle prizes. One lucky raffle winner had the opportunity to have lunch with MPD Chief MaQuade Chesley and MFD Chief Jayson Andrus. There was also a beautiful handmade quilt, made and donated by Debra Whisenhunt. A very creative raffle prize was a money “cake” featuring folded bills in different denominations, put together in a combination that resembled a cake. This prize, estimated to value $100, was donated by Precision Eye Care.
Several members of Citizens Emergency Response Team were on hand to help with the event and bid on the auction items.
Zuckerman expressed his gratitude to all who helped. “It was a great success and I can’t complain,” he said. “I just want to thank all of those who participated. I appreciate all of their support for our first responders.”
This fundraiser had its beginnings back in October of 2020. The idea started with Zuckerman’s wife, Simi, who had heard that first responders were wanting some smaller pieces of equipment that were not included in their department budgets. The couple went to work to garner community support for a fundraiser.
“We originally wanted to hold this event over a year ago,” Zuckerman said. “But the pandemic kind of slowed things down.”
Even so, the early efforts yielded a flurry of donations to the cause.
“All together, with this week’s event, we have raised a total of $5,200,” Zuckerman said. “I have no complaints about that.”