One last Tin Cup Tea for the Guinns |

One last Tin Cup Tea for the Guinns

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer
Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal Jim Barmore, Nevada State Museum director, shows off several of the items up for auction at the Tin Cup Tea and Chuck Wagon Barbecue on Sept. 9. The items will be auctioned off by Gov. Kenny Guinn to benefit museums in Northern Nevada.

Mention a museum fundraiser and most people conjure up images of stuffy suits, soft classical music and appetizers served with toothpicks.

In Nevada, things are a little different.

“Where else but Nevada can you meet the governor, tour his house, eat some great barbecue and take in a gunfight?” asked Jim Barmore, Nevada State Museum director.

For the last seven years, Gov. Kenny Guinn and first lady Dema Guinn have hosted the Tin Cup Tea and Chuck Wagon Barbecue as a fundraiser for the Nevada State Museum in Carson City and the W.M. Keck Earth Science and Mineral Engineering Museum at the University of Nevada, Reno’s Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering.

This year’s tea will be held from 5-10 p.m. Sept. 9 at the Governor’s Mansion, 600 N. Mountain St.

“It’s a celebration of Nevada’s Western heritage where you can have a fun time while helping preserve that heritage,” Barmore said.

The fundraiser has raised more than $250,000 for the museums since its inception in 1999. Last year’s event raised about $32,000 for the Nevada State Museum alone.

“It supports our educational programs, our exhibits and collections,” Barmore said. “It allows us to be able to provide a lot of our programs.”

The fundraiser includes a silent auction featuring about 70 items as well as a live auction, conducted by the governor, with several unique collectibles.

One of the items up for bid is a .45 Ruger Vaquero, which artist David Yellowstone transformed into a piece of artwork by altering the grips of the pistol. The item features the official logo of the 2006 Nevada quarter, hand-cut from German silver, inlaid into Chinese web turquoise and framed into his custom texture treatment.

The gun is accented with a strip of desert ironwood and another section of Chinese web turquoise featuring the outline of the state, hand cut from German silver, inlaid into the turquoise and also framed with texture work.

In addition to the pistol and six turquoise bullets, Guinn will also auction a necklace, designed by his wife, with a .999 fine silver medallion as the centerpiece. The medallion has a bust of the governor on the obverse side, and the state seal on the reverse. The necklace was made by The Jewelers of Las Vegas and donated by the first lady.

The live auction also includes a one-of-a-kind “CC” Morgan silver dollar belt. The belt includes 12 of the coins, all dated 1878.

Those in attendance receive a unique tin cup to hold their beverage of choice, with a different design appearing each of the seven years.

“The cups have become quite a collectable themselves,” Barmore said. “A complete set of the tin cups is actually one of the silent auction items this year.”

The tea also marks one of the last public events for the first couple before Guinn’s term expires at the end of the year.

“It’s a way to say good-bye to the governor and first lady and to thank them for their support,” Barmore said.

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at or 881-1217.

If you go

What: Tin Cup Tea and Chuck Wagon Barbecue

When: 5-10 p.m. Sept. 9

Where: The Governor’s Mansion, 600 N. Mountain St.

Cost: $45 per person.

Call: Holly Austin at 687-4810 ext. 222 to purchase tickets or for more information.