Fundraiser for Genoa Candy Dance statue Aug. 19 |

Fundraiser for Genoa Candy Dance statue Aug. 19

Nevada Appeal staff report
A rendering of a statue of Lillian Virgin Finnegan.
Special to The R-C |

if you go

What: Candy Dance statue fundraiser

When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 19

Where: 193 Genoa Lane, Genoa

Dubbed Genoa’s “Fairy Godmother,” Lillian Virgin Finnegan not only founded the town’s annual Candy Dance in 1919, but continued to support it until her death nearly two decades later.

Originally, it was a dance where townspeople sold candy to raise money to pay for street lights and electricity to illuminate the town.

The Pink House and the Centennial Genoa Candy Dance Statue Project Committee will host “A Summer Afternoon at the Pink House with Lillian Virgin Finnegan” from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 19. The Pink House, located at 193 Genoa Lane in Genoa, was Finnegan’s home for many years. The Pink House will serve complimentary samples of “Pink House Paloma,” a special drink created for this event. This event is open to anyone interested in learning about the Centennial Genoa Candy Dance Statue Project.

The centennial of Candy Dance’s founding will be in 2019. To commemorate this historic milestone, a life-size bronze statue of Finnegan will be erected in the Town of Genoa. The statue will honor Lillian and generations of volunteers who worked tirelessly over the years to continue the annual Genoa Candy Dance events.

The Centennial Genoa Candy Dance Statue Project Committee is working with the Town of Genoa and the Friends of Genoa nonprofit organization to bring this statue to Genoa. The statue will be created by Genoa resident, Debrine Lim Smedley. She has completed a small, clay model for the statue, which will be displayed at the Aug. 19 event.

Private donations will fund the entire project, with donor recognition bricks and plaques to be installed near the statue. Donors who contribute $200 will be recognized on personalized, engraved bricks; those contributing $1,000 or more will be recognized on engraved plaques. Donations will be made to and processed by Friends of Genoa, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

The Genoa Town Advisory Board supports the project. The site for the statue will be determined by a site committee, which includes representatives from the project committee and the Genoa Town Advisory Board.

Born in Genoa in 1878, she enlisted the help of the women of Genoa to raise money to purchase Genoa’s first street lights. Her idea was to make homemade candy to serve to guests at an annual harvest dance as an incentive for a good turnout. Today, the Genoa Candy Dance is one of the most popular events in the Carson Valley, as well as a major fundraiser that provides significant support to the Town of Genoa’s annual budget.

Candy Dance is Sept. 23-24 this year.