Mini donkeys Beau and Pepper were the stars of the show during the Seventh Annual Donkey Jamboree held at the Eureka Casino Resort on Saturday, March 14. Photo by Teri Nehrenz

Seven is a lucky number for Mesquite residents or at least it was on Saturday, March 14 (double sevens) when the Seventh Annual Donkey Jamboree was held at the Eureka Casino Resort. According to Gerri Chasko, it was just what the doctor ordered. Plenty of fresh air, sunshine and a relatively worry-free time amongst the chaos that is happening all around us.

Chasko and the Eureka jumped at the chance to host the event for the donkeys. Chasko who oversees the Eureka Community initiative program fosters two of the donkeys at Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue (PVDR) and loves them; she was thrilled to host this event for the donkeys and the community.

For a brief time, folks were able to forget the impending doom and gloom of isolation, fear of infection and hysteria concerning the Corona Virus. Nobody was thinking about the bad, only the good but taking precautions anyway. Social distancing was entirely possible at this outdoor event with wide open space for folks to keep their distances if they chose to and plenty of other folks to get close to if they didn’t.

It was a lucky day for the donkeys because Mesquite hadn’t been hit with a complete shut down of activities yet and the rain held off long enough for the event to be the complete success the donkeys needed it to be.

“Donkeys have a lot of needs, PVDR has 3,000 donkeys who expect to eat, get their nails trimmed, be vet checked, shelter and they really like their treats, all this costs a lot of money. The donkeys aren’t the most important part of the organization, the money is. Without the money, we can’t provide the rest,” Said Mark Myers, PVDR Founder.

The Donkey Jamboree in Mesquite is the main fundraiser for the local satellite rescue in Scenic which is owned and run by Joan Dunkle along with a small army of volunteers.

Each donkey rescued is vet checked and microchipped so at any given time Myers, volunteers and satellite owners know exactly where the donkeys are located; even after they’ve been adopted. Strict guidelines are implemented for paperwork, adoption applications and contracts for adopting the magnificent creatures.

The Scenic, AZ satellite offers a variety of services for the donkeys. First there is a holding facility for the Wild Burrow rescues. Donkeys are ‘trained’ or domesticated during their time at the holding facility, they move from the wide open spaces to smaller penned in areas where the volunteers can work with them on a one on one basis and keep a closer eye on those in need. They can be adopted directly out of the Wild Burrow Project space or some will go across the road to Dunkle. Some will be adopted, and some will stay at their forever home in the PVDR Scenic Satellite. Many of those that will stay are the senior donkeys; currently they have “Old Bill” who, at over 30, is their oldest donkey on site.

The Bottoms Up Band was happy to help entertain the crowd and get them up and moving during the Seventh Annual Donkey Jamboree held at the Eureka Casino Resort on Saturday, March 14. Photo by Teri Nehrenz

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.

If you find yourself really bored for the next 30 days during the shutdown, you can get off of yours and go visit theirs.  PVDR has the space for social distancing and they can always use good volunteers, even temporarily, and donations of any amount are always appreciated.

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 or visit these beautiful creatures in person by contacting 928-347-4506.