By VERNON ROBISON
Moapa Valley Progress
The Moapa Valley Revitalization Project (MVRP) held its fifth annual Spirit Award Contest last week in the run-up to the July 4th holiday. MVRP members MaryKaye Washburn and Marjorie Holland were out bright and early on Monday morning, July 3, conducting a driving tour of the Moapa Valley communities, looking for businesses with patriotic decorations.
The purpose of the MVRP is to “revitalize, beautify, preserve (the local business district) and encourage community pride,” according to the group’s mission statement. Over the years, the local group has completed a number of successful projects working toward that aim.
The Independence Day contest encourages local businesses to get involved in the MVRP cause, decorating the local business districts with red, white and blue Americana.
The contest area ranges throughout the entire length of the Valley including Overton, Logandale and Moapa. In fact, Holland and Washburn began by driving up to the Moapa Band of Paiutes Reservation to begin the tour. Then they made their way south through the valley looking closely at each business for patriotic decorations.
The judges award first, second and third place winners. The second and third place winners receive certificates of recognition. But the first place business is presented with a travelling plaque upon which the business name is engraved, along with the past contest winners. The plaque travels from winner to winner each year. The annual winner gets to display the plaque in their shop throughout the year until the next competition comes around.
Washburn and Holland ended this year’s tour at the Moapa Valley Water District office in Overton, which was last year’s first place winner. The water district was awarded an honorable mention award this year for its display.
Once the tour was at an end, the two judges were able to announce the winners for 2017.
The first place winner for this year was Foremost Realty in Logandale. With its flag-lined walkway, bunting draped window and bright colored window paint reading ‘Land of the Free,” this realty office was truly worthy of the first place award.
Second place went to McKesson Realty in Overton. There the entire front of the building was decorated with flags and banners.
Third place was awarded to Cal’s Auto in Overton for its lineup of flags and sparkler-like decorations in front of the shop’s office building.
While Washburn and Holland noticed that participation in the contest this year was lower than years past, they were still pleased with the results.
“We really appreciate everyone who participated this year,” said Washburn. “We feel like it really adds a lot to the business district to have business-owners get excited about sprucing up their shops for the July 4th holiday. And we are glad that so many are still doing it.”
In addition to the prize winners, other contest participants included Glendale AM/PM, Wesley’s Chevron, Logandale Auto, OLSHACS, The Front Porch, North Shore Inn, Sugar’s Restaurant, Lin’s Marketplace, Graph-X, Farmer’s Insurance/Alsum Agency, Dalley’s Barber Shop, Dyes and Dolls salon, The Hair District salon and Valley Leavitt Insurance.