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Greenhouse Project hosting MaskurAid Ball in Carson City

By Karel C. Ancona
Menu First course: Wild mushrooms and taleggio cheese tart. Second course: Swordfish belly, Italian salsa verde, Castelvetrano olives, warm Rancho Gordo beans and Prema Farms lettuces. Third course: Pressed beef oxtail and short ribs, heirloom polenta, Calabrian chilies, crispy pecorino Romano, aged balsamic and winter greens. Fourth course: Fresh donuts, citrus curd, charred orange, candied kumquat and pistachio.

The Greenhouse Project will host the first MaskurAid Ball taking place Jan. 4.

The event will be a mandatory mask event with costumes optional. Taking place at The Governor’s Mansion Nevada Room, the event will observe all social distancing and restricted capacity guidelines. Doors open at 5 p.m., a prize will be awarded for the Best Decorated Mask.

With these guidelines in place tickets for this event are limited and a seat at the table is $250 per person. The evening features a four-course, beer or wine-paired dinner created this year by chefs Josh and Whitney Deri of Blend Catering, with input from Chef Charlie Abowd, Charlie’s Table at Your Home.



“Josh and Whitney have collaborated with Charlie and The Greenhouse Project on many events in the past and their culinary offerings have been well received and of course their support of TGP is appreciated,” said Karen Abowd, TGP president.

Normally, TGP would be hosting its annual Celebrity Chef and Harvest Dinner, but in light of current circumstances, this as well as the annual Concert Under the Stars, were canceled. The MaskurAid Ball, Abowd said, is a way to continue critically needed fundraising while ensuring safety of guests and staff.



Therefore, the usual 160 tickets have been reduced to about 40.

“We are so grateful to our community that still supported us even though we canceled this year’s fundraisers and who adapted to us having to conduct our plant sales with social distancing protocols in place,” said Cheryl Rotter, TGP vice-president. “We’ve had to pivot and recreate our fundraising efforts.”

TGP operates an educational facility at Carson High School’s campus, and Foothill Garden at the Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center campus.

“Every dollar raised goes directly to the operations costs of our greenhouse where one of our missions is giving back to the community,” Rotter said. “The MaskurAid Ball will allow us to continue our overall mission of ‘Growing, Giving and Teaching for a Healthier, Greener, Sustainable Community.’”

“We still have costs that we must cover and in addition to people going to the website and making direct support donations which we absolutely welcome, we’ve got to work forward in the most mindful way possible,” said TGP President Karen Abowd. “Covid-19 has caused huge disruptions for everyone as we know, and we’ve had to work around this in a manner that strictly adheres to all safety protocols.”

She added that while planning for the concert would normally be underway now for 2021, it is doubtful concerts will be a viable option for fundraising moving into this new normal.

“We’ve got to think outside the box,” she said.

Doctors Tim McFarren and Sandra Koch have stepped forward as this year’s Angel Donors, giving a $5,000 donation, which will be matched by additional donations both the evening of the dinner and during the two weeks prior. The community is invited to participate virtually in making donations, bidding on auction items and purchasing raffle tickets, which will also be available on the site.

“A heartfelt thanks to the doctors for their generosity,” Abowd said. “Their donation combined with the community’s participation helps TGP immensely, and whether you can give $5 or $5,000, know that every dollar is received in gratitude.”

Dinner course sponsors are Congressman Mark Amodei, Vidler Water, Lone Mountain Veterinary, Farmers Insurance, Carson Tahoe Health, and Aspire Capital Advisors.

In-kind sponsors for auction items are Artsy-Fartsy Gallery, Jeffery Pace and Gabriel, who donated art valued at $3800; Chef Charlie Abowd and Chef Mark Estee who will cook dinner for eight at either the high bidder’s home or at the Abowd’s; Steve and Michele Lewis who donated a five-night stay with two dinners at their resort in Northern Idaho; Steve Sanchez, TGP board member, who donated a collectible bottle of wine; and Sierra Custom Framing for framing the artwork from Artsy-Fartsy. In-kind sponsor Debbie Kytle, of Chi will provide a facial for the Best Mask winner.

This year’s raffle item is an e-bike, valued at $1,000. Raffle tickets cost $5 each or five for $20.

“We’re working on the logistics of making on-line bidding for the auction as well as raffle and matching donations available in the two weeks leading up to the event,” Abowd said. “So again, be sure to check the web site at http://www.carsoncitygreenhouse.org for updates and to place your bid, purchase raffle tickets and make donations.”

For more information or for tickets, email karenabowd@hotmail.com or call her at 775-232-8626.