AP NEWS

VIPs keep busy throughout the year

May 8, 2019

LAUGHLIN — The Volunteers in Partnership were busy during the Laughlin River Run, helping with registration and selling bottled water during the rally.

The VIPs work cohesively with the Laughlin Nevada Chamber of Commerce and have supported the Tri-state for a long time, helping at various events.

“We have been busy,” VIP President Judy Critz said. “We just got done with the off-road races, and we had two days of those.”

Those races were the 2019 Polaris RZR World Championships that took place in early April. The VIPs assisted in guiding racers in the pit area and with spectator parking.

Critz said both the River Run and off-road races are huge fundraisers for the VIPs. Money raised from events the organization volunteers for gets dispersed to various Tri-state nonprofits later in the year. In 2018 the VIPs donated $10,000 to 12 different nonprofits.

Anyone can join the VIPs as long as they are over 18, clear a background check, and are ready to help the local community.

“Right now, we have got almost 80 (volunteers),” Critz said. “ Its good because some may be on vacation or can’t work the outside events. We try to accommodate what they can do. Some can only sit in a chair so, we make sure they have somewhere to sit.”

The volunteers don’t have to work every event and can pick and choose what interests them. VIPs attend chamber functions, work at concerts and other community functions and generally serve as ambassadors of the chamber and township.

“You can sign up for as little or many things as you want to do,” VIP member Pearl Monfort said. “Some things interest you more than others, and of course, you have to sometimes wait so everybody has a turn at whatever event needs help.”

Mary Knippel has volunteered with the group for so long that people who come out to events year after year have started to recognize her.

“You really enjoy it (volunteering) if you like meeting people,” Knippel said.

She said it’s just all about having a good time.

You’ll know a VIP when you see them because they will be wearing a bight blue polo and have a smile on their face.