Light the Spark of Hope this Holiday Season

by Linda Faas

As we close 2018, events are planned throughout the area that help lift the spirit and share love and caring with friends and neighbors. Whether you are a donor or a dancer, float-builder or caring friend, everyone benefits when neighbors gather to support one another. Raising a friend’s spirits, teaching children, and befriending seniors are only a few ways out local charity

events help celebrate holiday good will. Here is a sampling of events that invite your participation:

Mesquite hosts many events to help provide food for those in need. Our local Salvation Army and the Virgin Valley Community Food Bank help identify those who need help the most, while other nonprofit organizations reach out to draw neighbors into a circle of a giving community.

November 2018 — Collection of Marine Corps Toys for Tots

‘Tis the Season! Marine Corps Toys for Tots kicks off its 2018 campaign. Toys for Tots helps provide toys and gifts to deserving children so no child goes without Christmas. Unwrapped toys are collected through November at donation boxes in Mesquite at Walgreens and Sun City Recreation Center, and in Moapa Valley at Clea’s Fabulous Moapa Valley Realty, Lin’s Market, Moapa Valley Telephone (MVT), and Overton Power District #5. Financial Donations can be made to Toys for Tots, c/o Brenda Slocumb, PO Box 1266, Logandale NV, 89021, or online at www.toysfortots.org. For more information, please call 702-596-6810.

Toys will be distributed the second week of December through the Salvation Army in Mesquite and at the VFW Post Home in Moapa Valley.

Application toys in can be filled out the Salvation Army office, 355 W. Mesquite Boulevard, #B-50, Mesquite, Nevada. Moapa Valley applications can be filled out at the Moapa Library, 1340 East Highway 168, Moapa Nevada and the VFW Post Home at 324 Whitmore Street, Overton, Nevada. Applications may also be submitted online at www.toysfortots.org

November 2018 Collection for Any Soldier Project at Mesquite Veterans Center

Financial and item donations are now being gathered at the Veterans Center in Mesquite, Nevada for shipment to active service members. Mike Gizzi of American Legion Post 24 heads the effort to pack at least 100 boxes of toiletries, snacks, and other useful items. Sunflower seeds, granola bars, and packaged cookies are favorite snacks. Homemade goodies cannot be accepted. Letters and cards are welcomed, and school children are invited to write letters of thanks or draw pictures. Mesquite veterans sort and box the gifts. The Exchange Club contributes postage, and Boxes are mailed the first week of December to our military men and women serving in remote areas of the world.

If you wish to contribute items or make financial donations, please drop them at the Mesquite Veterans Center, 840 Hafen Lane, Mesquite, Nevada, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. until November 28. For more details, go to www.anysoldier.com or call 702-346-2735.

November 2018 Ninth Annual Overton Power District #5 Food Drive

Overton Power District #5 (OPD)and the schools in Moapa Valley and Virgin Valley team up to collect thousands of cans of food for those in need. Donations of canned food can be dropped off at your nearest OPD #5 office or local school. Donations benefit the Cappalappa Food Band and the Virgin Valley Food Bank.

November 14-17 Mesquite Arts Council Festival of Trees at Virgin River Events Center

Mesquite’s oldest arts group holds its annual Festival of Trees at a new location! This year the festival will be held in the newly-opened Virgin River Events Center tent at the Virgin River Casino, 100 W. Pioneer Boulevard, Mesquite, Nevada. Mesquite Gaming joins Mesquite Arts Council in sponsoring the event. The community is invited to enter decorated trees, offer boutique crafts, and attend the “Merry and Bright” Festival of Trees that helps fund the council’s community art projects, such as children’s theatre productions. The display of trees, crafters boutique, musical performances, tree auction, and prize raffles are sure to warm holiday hearts.

The Festival opens to the public Wednesday, November 14, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. with a welcoming ceremony at 6 p.m. The festival continues Thursday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 2 p.m.to – 8 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Festival admission is $3, reduced to $2 with donation of 2 cans of food. Decorated trees are auctioned to benefit the Virgin Valley Community Food Bank and Salvation Army.

Businesses, clubs, and individuals are invited to sponsor a decorated tree for the competition.

Information and entry forms for those wishing to trim a tree or sell holiday boutique gifts is available from Aleta Ruth, email ruthsrus@gmail.com, or call 702-461-1403, or 702-346-6455. Entry forms and fees can be sent to Aleta at PO Box 2039, Mesquite, NV 89024.

November 14 and 17 Scouting For Food Drive for Virgin Valley

Local Cub Scouts will distribute food donation bags throughout Virgin Valley neighborhoods on Wednesday, November 14, in preparation for the pickup of canned food donations by the Boy Scouts on Saturday, November 17. Donated food will be distributed through the Salvation Army in Mesquite, Nevada, and the Beaver Dam Food Bank in Beaver Dam, Arizona. The Boy Scouts of America have held their food drive since 1988, and look forward to even more generous donations as they celebrate 40 years of charity.

For more information, call the Salvation Army, 702-345-5116. Canned food donations can also be made directly to the Salvation Army or Beaver Dam Food Bank.

November 20 Turkey Tuesday at Virgin Valley Community Food Bank

Registered clients of Virgin Valley Food Bank will be provided with the makings for a complete

Thanksgiving dinner on Turkey Tuesday. Leslee Montgomery, director of Virgin Valley Food Bank encourages donations of food and financial contributions during the weeks prior. Contact

Leslee or the Food Bank at 702-345-0900, 312 W. Mesquite Blvd, Ste 107, Mesquite, NV. The Virgin Valley Food Bank and Thrift Store are located behind Mesquite Plaza, facing First South Street.

November 21 Mesquite Community Thanksgiving Dinner at Senior Center

On Wednesday, November 21, from noon to 6 p.m., everyone in the community is invited to the annual dinner at the Mesquite Senior Center, 102 W. Old Mill Road, Mesquite, Nevada. The dinner is sponsored by the City of Mesquite Athletics and Leisure Services Department-Senior Center Division. This free event is open to everyone to ensure that all members of the community, regardless of income, have a meal to enjoy with others on the holiday, and no one in Mesquite is hungry or alone. What an excellent way to celebrate the tradition of Thanksgiving!  

This dinner is made possible through the generosity of individuals, businesses, groups, and clubs. Those interested in donating time, money, or product, can contact Krissy Thornton or Griseyda Belalcazar at the Senior Center, 702-346-5290. Help is needed preparing the meal, serving, delivering homebound meals, set-up and clean-up, and providing entertainment. All volunteers work just one hour. Volunteers must register prior to the event, with early sign-up recommended.

The Senior Center accepts canned food that benefits the Salvation Army’s Food Bank, with boxes available for drop-off at Senior Center doors. Please make sure canned goods have not expired.

November 23-December 22 Six Days a Week, Salvation Army Rings the Bell!

No holiday sound is more familiar than the jingle of the tiny bell that calls generous folks to share with others at a red Salvation Army donation kettle. Whether spare change or folded bills, all gifts are welcomed by this ministry that aims to do the most good. Volunteer bell ringers are needed to help raise funds for those in our community who are struggling to

maintain a home for themselves and their family.

Call Jessica Powell at 702-816-6919 to schedule a time to ring the bell. Bring your friends and organization members. Those over age 18 can help gather funds that will mean the world to a neighbor. All kettle donations are distributed locally. Families who need food, clothing, transportation assistance, and other basic support benefit from your generous donation when you donate at the ringing bell.

December 1 The Acoustical Musical Variety Show

Local musicians will perform classical rock, folk, and western songs in two performances on

Saturday, December 1 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. These great local musicians rock the house to delight their audience in support of the Mesquite Toes Tap Team, which provides entertainment for Mesquite’s assisted-living residents, and raises funds for many other charitable causes. Don’t Thanksgiving dinner on Turkey Tuesday. Leslee Montgomery, director of Virgin Valley Food Bank encourages donations of food and financial contributions during the weeks prior. Contact

Leslee or the Food Bank at 702-345-0900, 312 W. Mesquite Blvd, Ste 107, Mesquite, NV. The Virgin Valley Food Bank and Thrift Store are located behind Mesquite Plaza, facing First South Street.

November 21 Mesquite Community Thanksgiving Dinner at Senior Center

On Wednesday, November 21, from noon to 6 p.m., everyone in the community is invited to the annual dinner at the Mesquite Senior Center, 102 W. Old Mill Road, Mesquite, Nevada. The dinner is sponsored by the City of Mesquite Athletics and Leisure Services Department-Senior Center Division. This free event is open to everyone to ensure that all members of the community, regardless of income, have a meal to enjoy with others on the holiday, and no one in Mesquite is hungry or alone. What an excellent way to celebrate the tradition of Thanksgiving!  

This dinner is made possible through the generosity of individuals, businesses, groups, and clubs. Those interested in donating time, money, or product, can contact Krissy Thornton or Griseyda Belalcazar at the Senior Center, 702-346-5290. Help is needed preparing the meal, serving, delivering homebound meals, set-up and clean-up, and providing entertainment. All volunteers work just one hour. Volunteers must register prior to the event, with early sign-up recommended.

The Senior Center accepts canned food that benefits the Salvation Army’s Food Bank, with boxes available for drop-off at Senior Center doors. Please make sure canned goods have not expired.

November 23-December 22 Six Days a Week, Salvation Army Rings the Bell!

No holiday sound is more familiar than the jingle of the tiny bell that calls generous folks to share with others at a red Salvation Army donation kettle. Whether spare change or folded bills, all gifts are welcomed by this ministry that aims to do the most good. Volunteer bell ringers are needed to help raise funds for those in our community who are struggling to

maintain a home for themselves and their family.

Call Jessica Powell at 702-816-6919 to schedule a time to ring the bell. Bring your friends and organization members. Those over age 18 can help gather funds that will mean the world to a neighbor. All kettle donations are distributed locally. Families who need food, clothing, transportation assistance, and other basic support benefit from your generous donation when you donate at the ringing bell.

December 1 The Acoustical Musical Variety Show

Local musicians will perform classical rock, folk, and western songs in two performances on

Saturday, December 1 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. These great local musicians rock the house to delight their audience in support of the Mesquite Toes Tap Team, which provides entertainment for Mesquite’s assisted-living residents, and raises funds for many other charitable causes. Don’t

Come join in the fiesta of music from Spanish-speaking countries. The venue will be festooned with poinsettias, piñatas, and luminarias! VVHS students will entertain with an international flair. This is an event for the entire family. Hot chocolate will be served. Virgin Valley High School, 820 Valley View Drive, Mesquite, Nevada. Doors open at 6 p.m.

December 14 Mesquite Library Hosts Lifelong Dancers Christmas Performance

Don’t miss the Mesquite Recreation Center’s Lifelong Dancers as they give a public performance at the Mesquite Library Friday, December 14 at 4 p.m. The troupe’s dances are professionally choreographed, promising to be an engaging event for the entire family.

Contact Judy Sargent, 702-346-5224, for more information.

December 15 Christmas Story Time for Youngsters

Gather ‘round for story hour at the Virgin Valley Heritage Museum on Saturday, December 15 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Museum Director, Elspeth Kuta will have lots of surprises, a tree to trim, and treats for all. The museum is located at 35 W. Mesquite Boulevard, Mesquite, Nevada .

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