Mammoth Carnival This Weekend Benefits Wild Iris

Mike Gervais, Mammoth Times Editor

The second annual Gimme Shelter fundraiser carnival is lighting up the Sierra Nevada Resort and Spa parking lot through this weekend.
The traditional carnival features games, food and rides – and it’s all for a good cause.
Gimme Shelter Fund organizer Donna Richards said Wednesday that she learned a couple years ago that Wild Iris, the Inyo- Mono domestic violence prevention orga- nization, didn’t have a shelter available for victims of domestic violence.
Her first move was to provide a $12,000 donation to help Wild Iris get a transitional housing program started. Wild Iris’s tran- sitional housing gives victims of domestic violence a safe home while the organiza- tion provides counseling and skills training to ensure individuals can be independent
and self-sustaining while attempting to remove themselves from a bad situation.
Once the organization was able to launch that program, it opened the door to a state grant that keep it rolling.
From there, Richards began organiz- ing community events to raise money and ensure the program continues.
Thus the Gimme Shelter Carnival was born.
Held from Wednesday, July 8 through Sunday, July 12 in the resort parking lot, the event quickly became a favorite among
families with small children last year. The event will be open from 4-9:45 p.m. week- days and from noon-9:45 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. All are invited.
“We’re going to have a Ferris wheel, the Zipper, the Star Ship Tornado and other kids rides, and the midway with games, and of course, carnival food,” Richards said. “It’s about families. There are so many events in town that are about drinking, and you can’t take your kids. Last year, I’d say there were about 1,000 people a day.
The carnival is provided by World Amusements, Inc.
With that kind of success the carnival experienced its inaugural year, Richards was able to donate 80 percent of the proceeds from the event to Wild Iris. “On the weekends there was non-stop people.”
And this year’s event is looking to be just as successful.
Richards said the carnival is a community affair, with Jim and Nancy Demetriades donating the parking lot for the event. Other sponsors include Mammoth Disposal, Tail Waggers, Sierra Nevada Resort and Spa and Grand Mammoth Resorts.
This year, Richards said the carnival will also host a tent for the Mono County Humane Society to host a pet adoption event. She explained that the Gimme Shelter brand is beginning to expand to include four- legged residents in need as well.
Gimme Shelter Fund to the non- profit organization is used to benefit its transitional housing program and help local victims of domestic violence.
Tickets for carnival rides and games will be available on site.