Ashdown receives Hearts for the Arts award

Recipient of the 2017 Hearts for the Arts Award is Gail Ashdown. Ashdown has been the brick and mortar which held together many of the organizations through some very lean years. Her love for the arts and her dedication to the community wouldn’t let her give up and many arts groups endured because of Ashdown’s commitment to them. Photo by Teri Nehrenz

For the seventh year, the annual Hearts for the Arts dinner held on Feb. 14 helped raise money to support the Mesquite Arts Community.

Hearts for the Arts has also been the venue to honor one person in the community who has made a significant contribution to supporting the arts in Mesquite. The 2017 recipient of that award was Gail Ashdown.

If you’ve ever been involved in the arts in Mesquite, Ashdown’s name pops up in every organization you can think of. She has served on committees for the Mesquite Arts Council, the Greater Mesquite Arts Foundation and the Virgin Valley Theatre Group for as long as any member of any organization can remember.

Paul and Barbara Benedict spent their 42nd wedding anniversary honoring the 2017 Recipient of the Hearts for the Arts Award, Gail Ashdown. Both Benedicts are heavily involved with the Mesquite Exchange Club and dedicated supporters of the arts. Photo by Teri Nehrenz

Ashdown has used her accounting skills to keep the books for several groups over the years as well as pitching in with all the help she can offer. Ashdown even serves to manage the volunteer ushers at the Mesquite Community Theatre for all VVTG performances which, alone, is a huge responsibility during the season. She also helps out in the pottery studio for the artists and assists the showgirls in every way she can.

Ashdown has been the brick and mortar that held together many of the organizations through some very lean years. Her love for the arts and her dedication to the community wouldn’t let her give up and many arts groups endured because of Ashdown’s commitment to them.

This year’s dinner did not include an auction as it has in prior years but every person who purchased a ticket had their name entered into a drawing for some original artwork done by Virgin Valley Artists.

Music and entertainment was provided by the Delta 6 Band, which actually had seven members, who provided a mix of classic and soft rock.

The 2017 Hearts for the Arts Award dinner was attended by those who have a true love and appreciation for the arts. It is through this kind of community support along with the extra special efforts of people such as the 2017 recipient Gail Ashdown, other former recipients and community business such as the Eureka that ensure the arts will continue to thrive in Mesquite and the Virgin Valley.

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