Love, the family organizes a “family reunion”
By NICK YAMASHITA
Virgin Valley’s nonprofit Love, Family recently hosted their first ever ‘family reunion’ event which brought together over 50 people at Leavitt Memorial Park in Bunkerville on Saturday September 25th. The group led by Dana Long and Aloree Smith was created to bring together different elements of the community and promote understanding of LGBTQ issues. Those who attended found several family reunion style activities to entertain themselves and find unity and zest for life.
Some of the activities present included karaoke, tug of war, races, bounce houses, Jenga, cornhole, bubbles and much more. The Smoke’N’Grind Barbeque was also present, which provided food for those who wanted to order.
Several stands were present to help raise awareness on many topics. One of the largest booths featured information and statistics through questions about LGBTQ youth facing issues such as bullying, exclusion, depression and suicide.
“We hope to help people accept each other better and realize the importance of loving each other, no matter where we come from,” Long said.
Kristen Hoerner, who ran another booth, briefed people on upcoming events available to local residents and residents of southern Nevada. Among them is a medieval fair, library activities and a monthly meeting of the Alliance for Gay and Heterosexual Teens every 1st Thursday of the month at 4:45 p.m. for ages 12-18. This meeting takes place at the Mesquite Library at 160 W. First North Street, Mesquite, Nevada.
Another goal of this event was to help raise donations of school supplies for the JL Bowler Elementary School in Bunkerville. The results of this effort were astounding as they filled 15 large bins full of school supplies for the classrooms. A competition was held with prizes for the local businesses that provided the most donations in the past month. The winner of the contest was Mad Mike.
“We were very shocked to have won! Mad Mike’s bartender, Kimberly Muniz said. “We are very grateful to our customers who help the children by bringing supplies and donating. “
The big conclusion was that several people took up the challenge and agreed to take a face pie to help raise money for the cause. The “pitchers” paid for the opportunity to throw a pie at those who volunteered.
What followed was a fun time with hilarity and all in the name of love for the children and for each other. The whipped cream for the pies was done!
“We had an amazing time at our first annual Love, Family Reunion at Bunkerville Park!” Long said at the end of the activities. “We had so much fun hearing the kids hopping on the mic for karaoke, getting super competitive in family reunion games, and even participating in a pie toss! We look forward to meeting everyone at our next event. So stay tuned for more information! ”
For more information about Love, Family email [email protected]
“It was very exciting to have an event based on love and family,” said Aleaha Sargent from Mesquite, who attended the family reunion.