By Abbey Snow

Photos by Samuel Snow

The Mesquite Community Education Foundation hosted a fundraising event Nov 14 at Virgin Valley High School to benefit graduating seniors with scholarship money to help them seek post high school training.  

Maury Putnam,vice president of the MCEF Foundation Boardsaid the westernthemed event was titled “Yee Haw. The FFA classes decorated the tables and areas around the room. It included a barbecue dinner prepared by the school’s culinary class, entertainment was provided by the music department and cheerleaders, and raffles were held for those who attended with gifts that were donated by local businesses. They always try to include the school clubs and performers in all of their endeavors, Putnam said. 

Last year we had our first ever fundraiser for the foundation and we raised $8,000,” Putnam said. “We turned around and gave eight $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors.” 

Putnam said they are a nonprofit foundation that plans and executes fundraising efforts to build scholarship funds for students. They will have two large fundraising events this year. Their next event will be their “Spring Fling” on March 21.  

The fundraiser Tuesday was just to help put money in our savings account to be added to the other funds we hopefully receive from donors,” Putnam said. “We will have another large fundraiser in the Spring that will be held in the same venue with our students helping again with decorations, entertainment, food, etc. With our next fundraiser, we will add the monies to what is already in our saving account and give as many scholarships again as funds raised.   

VVHS Band Director Kendra Graf currently teaches intermediate and advanced band, jazz band, percussion ensemble, color guard, marching band, and pep band. She prepared and conducted the intermediate band students to perform at the event.  

“I felt the students did a phenomenal job,” Graf said. “They only had a short time to put this music together for this event and pulled it off nicely. We played three songs being: the theme song foMagnificent Seven, a song called Stampede, and the Captain America Theme Song. I think the whole event turned out well. There was a large crowd and they all seemed to be really enjoying themselves.”  

Marie Palmer teaches choirchamber choirintermediate orchestra, chamber orchestra and guitar at VVHS. She combined and both choirs and both orchestras for this specific event 

“I think it was very fun for all of us and that the students trusted me to know what the audience would like to hear, as well as what was appropriate for the event,” Palmer said. They had fun performing a style of music that we would not normally do. I wanted the students to see that the audience would enjoy the older country songs that we performedand they did see how   the audience really enjoyed the event.”    

Putnam said she loved seeing the faces of the audience light up as they recognized the musical numbers and engaged in the dancing. 

The VVHS Cheerleaders grabbed audience members to join them in a fun line dance. Many tried to keep up with the fast-paced dance and as they danced more kept joining in on the fun. 

Toward the end of the event, the cheerleaders handed out the raffle winners that contained variety of gifts donated from local businesses to help the fundraiser.