One-year-old baby Phoebe (front) is a real crowd pleaser and loves the attention. Mom, Olivia stands close by keeping a watchful eye on her daughter during the Sixth Annual Donkey Jamboree held at the Stateline Casino on March 23. Photo by Teri Nehrenz

Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue held their Sixth Annual Donkey Jamboree on Saturday, March 23. The annual fundraising event was sponsored by and held at the Stateline Casino with a great crowd and, according to volunteer Joanne Migliozzi, it was a huge success; right from the moment they began, the turnout was remarkable.

Bottoms Up entertained the crowd and kept them dancing with a variety of country and southern rock songs. Mesquite Showgirls Stephanie Wooley and Becky Boyd were there to help in every way they could selling raffle tickets or posing for pictures with the mascot and the attendees.

The PVDR was founded by Mark Myers in 2000 after his wife bought a donkey of the internet as a companion to her horse.  The couple had never had a donkey before and they loved it.  “It was just like a big dog”, said Myers. “Buying that donkey was like buyin’ a big ole pickup…you’d never really notice a whole lotta pick-ups on the road until you buy one and then you notice them all over.  Well that’s how it was after we bought that dang donkey, there was donkeys everywhere.  The donkeys we were seeing weren’t friendly and loving the way ours was though.  They had green snot hanging out of their noses and sores on their bodies, they had issues of all kinds, so my wife bought ‘em.  We paid people to drive ‘em to our house and I’d sit up with em at night and talk to ‘em.    We kept that up until we had about 25 donkeys.  We thought then that we’d better find a way to get these donkeys outta here and the easiest way was to start a rescue that way we can have an adoption program and we’d have control of where these donkeys go.

Mesquite Showgirls Stephanie Wooley and Becky Boyd are always happy to help with any event around town especially when it involves such a handsome photo partner. They loved posing for pictures with the mascot when Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue held their Sixth Annual Donkey Jamboree on Saturday, March 23. Photo by Teri Nehrenz

Fundraising projects, such as the Donkey Jamboree, help considerably with raising funds for the Scenic rescue/adoption center which was started by Joan Dunkle and Fred Clark. Dunkle and her volunteers take every opportunity they have in Mesquite that allows them to raise funds and care for the donkeys until they are adopted.

Myers is otherwise engaged, being the voice for the donkeys and raising money, somewhere else in the country but he always manages to be in Mesquite for the Jamboree. Myers spends this time in Mesquite because of the love and support the community shows for the donkeys and the importance of the Scenic rescue which is becoming much more than just peaceful pastures and an adoption center.

Myers, because of Dunkle’s and Clark’s generosity and love for the donkeys, acquired almost two years ago, long-term, the ability to begin a new wild burrow training center right across from the adoption center.

The Myers’ passion for donkeys and their welfare has turned into a nationwide organization.  The PVDR is coast to coast and border to border working in 28 states with adoption facilities across the country and by number of animals rescued and by geographic location they have become the largest animal rescue organization in the country.

It’s all about the money raised at these events that allow the teams to feed, house and care for the many mouths they expect and the ones they don’t. Your dollars make all difference to the donkeys who weather many blustery days trying to survive their storm. Dunkle, Myers, the volunteers and especially the wild burros thank you. For more information on the works of the PVDR or how you can help support the Wild Burro Project visit their website at http://www.donkeyrescue.org/wild-burro-project.html or visit these beautiful creatures in person by contacting 928-347-4506.