By Stephanie Bunker
Moapa Valley Progress
It was a bright and sunny Saturday morning for Tank Day, and things heated up fast for the event that was held at the old army tank in downtown Overton. Tank Day is an annual fundraiser for the 4th of July fireworks display.
Volunteer Lori Houston, who helped organize the event, feels that the fireworks display is a great cause.
“I go to the Fourth of July Celebration every year and I just love it,” Houston said. “I felt like I needed to get involved in it to show my appreciation. Not a lot of places have a free community celebration like this.”
Community members got together early on Saturday morning for the event. At 8:00 the American Legion Post 75 and other local veterans, including Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), lined up for a flag raising ceremony. As the Star Spangled Banner came to an end, a cannon shot off to give a startling finale to the participants. Once the Pledge of Allegiance had been recited, it was time to register for the fun run/walk.
Tank Day has been held in years past, but this is the first year the event has included a 5K fun run/walk. Volunteers from the LDS Singles Branch was put in charge of the registration table. Those who wanted to run, made a donation of $15 and received a T-shirt.
At 9:00 the runners lined up at the starting line. World War II Veteran, Bud Bonham gave the count down for the race to begin. The runners were off with enthusiasm for the pain to come.
The route took runners up Cooper Street, on up the hill to Airport Road, half way up the Mormon Mesa Road and then all the way back.
While the runners were on their journey, the army tank was opened up to visitors. The M41 Walker Bulldog Tank was used at the end of WWII in the pre-Korean era. The American Legion veterans willingly gave their time to help kids into the tank.
Along with tours of the tank, there was also a bake sale set up. Hotdogs, Caramel popcorn, cupcakes, chocolate caramel pretzels, and other delightfully delicious items were for sale.
Jessica Whipple brought her husband’s special Moapa Mixer drink. Unfortunately the recipe for the fruity drink is secret and couldn’t be shared. Whipple also brought along her hound dog puppies to sell. All of the proceeds for the pup sale was donated to the 4th of July fund.
Houston emphasized how much the community helps out. She said that she didn’t have to make assignments for the bake sale.
“We just put the word out and the baked goods just show up,” she said.
In the 5K run, William Sheldon finished first with a time of 20:52. Skylar Whipple finished second with at time of 21:11. Mandy Matheson took third place with a time of 26:45.
When the race was finished, everyone that ran were entered into a raffle. Prizes included a basketball, camp chair, headlamp, pedometer, and backscratchers.
There are many sponsors that make the 4th of July Celebration possible. Thank you to: Logandale Tire and Auto, Alsum Insurance, Overton Ace Hardware, Lin’s Grocery, Qualheim Insurance, Valley Refrigeration, Tiffany’s Pies & Sub, Legacy Rock Inc., All State Autoglass, Moapa Valley Progress, Muddy River Bar & Grill, and Sunwarrior.