Not only has the annual Tin Cup and Chuck Wagon BBQ fundraiser become an important way to raise awareness and funds for the Nevada State Museum in Carson City and the W.M. Keck Earth Science and Mineral Engineering Museum at the Mackay School of Mines of Earth Sciences and Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno, it has grown into one of the prime social events of the fall.
Case in point: this year's event will feature several new wrinkles, with a one-of-a-kind Heritage Collectibles commemorative rifle with Nevada themed stock by the noted artist David Yellowhorse, a rare gold specimen and a "Golf with the Governor" package auctioned as prizes when the event is held on Saturday, Sept. 8 in Carson City.
The Tin Cup Tea has helped raise more than $250,000 for the museums, and usually attracts in excess of 1,000 people. It will be held on Sept. 8 from 5-9 p.m., at the Governor's Mansion, 606 N. Mountain Street in Carson City. First Lady Dawn Gibbons and Gov. Jim Gibbons, a graduate of the Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering at the University, are the event's hosts.
"We are very grateful for Mrs. Gibbons continued support of the Tin Cup Tea," said Rachel Dolbier, administrator of the museum. "Thanks to her efforts, our programming at the Keck Museum will continue to have a lasting impact on the young people as well as the citizens of northern Nevada. Each year our diverse collection of minerals are viewed for free each school year by about 4,000 school children, and without the support of the First Lady and the Tin Cup Tea, such extensive programming would not be possible."
The rifle offered in the auction is a one-of-a-kind piece, a Henry .17 HMR Golden Boy Rifle, transformed by Yellowstone's work into an exquisite collectible piece of Navajo artwork. The centerpiece of the rifle features a scene depicting the new Nevada quarter logo engraved into German silver and inlaid into walnut stock. The walnut forestock also features custom silver and turquoise bezels, and carries the Yellowstone logo and the serial number 1/1. It was donated by John Etten of Heritage Collectables in Reno.
The live auction will also include a distinctive gold specimen donated by Scott Werschky at Miner's Lunchbox in Reno. The one-ounce, four-inch-long gold specimen of crystalline gold is from Round Mountain and is worth between $10,000 to $12,000.
"The quality, beauty and brilliance of this gold specimen is truly remarkable," Dolbier said. "For this reason, and the fact that it is a Nevada gold specimen, we will start the bidding at $5,000."
The "Golf with the Governor" package will entitle the winning bidder and two friends to join Gov. Jim Gibbons for a round of golf at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Club at Stateline. Two packages are available, one in the spring. The package also includes dinner.
The Tin Cup Tea and Chuck Wagon BBQ will also feature a western barbeque, dancing to the music of David John and the Comstock Cowboys, and a performance by the Guns and Gals of Virginia City. Guests will be offered tours of the Governor's Mansion and the chance to see the unique Mackay Tiffany Silver, historic first ladies gowns, wagons and buggies, and Nevada mineral and fossil specimens.
Tickets for this fundraising event are $50 per person. For information, call Holly Austin at (775) 687-4810, ext. 222.
The W.M. Keck Museum has been part of the Mackay School since 1908. The museum houses a collection of minerals, fossils and historical mining artifacts from the Comstock and other Nevada mining districts.
The Nevada State Museum is one of seven managed by the state Division of Museums and History, an agency of the Nevada Department of Cultural Affairs. The Department serves Nevada's citizens and visitors through cultural and information management, presentation and promotion of cultural resources, and education. The Department also includes the State Office of Historic Preservation, Nevada State Library and Archives and the Nevada Arts Council. For more information, visit the department's website at www.NevadaCulture.org