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Pinal 40

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Larry the Cable Guy jokes with the crowd at the Pinal 40 Gala. Photos by Jim Headley

The annual Pinal 40 Gala brought comedian Larry the Cable Guy, former Diamondback Luis Gonzalez and artist Randall Hedden to Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino Events Center Saturday for dinner and entertainment to help fund local youth programs and agricultural scholarships in Pinal County. Comedian Mark Cordes hosted the evening, which say Hedden do on-the-spot art, including a painting of Gonzalez that was auctioned off. Larry the Cable Guy was the spotlight entertainment. Live and silent auctions included high-end items like skydiving trips, baseball tickets, electronics, signed jerseys and more.

Larry the Cable Guy will be part of the entertainment for the Pinal 40 Foundation Gala at Harrah's Ak-Chin Casino.

The Pinal 40 Foundation presents its annual gala reception and dinner fundraiser scheduled for May 4.

What: Pinal 40 Foundation Gala Reception & Dinner
When: May 4, 5 p.m. cocktail reception, 6:30 p.m. dinner, auction, awards, entertainment
Where: Harrah’s Ak-Chin Events Center Grand Ballroom, 15406 N. Maricopa Road
How much: $300/person
Info: Pinal40.org/gala, 520-840-5758

The annual gala raises funds to benefit the Pinal 40 Foundation and their annual charitable giving. This year’s event features Master of Ceremonies Marc Cordes and live tribute artist Randall Hedden. The evening’s feature entertainment is comedian and voice actor “Larry the Cable Guy.”

The evening begins with a cocktail reception, followed by dinner, a live auction, the presentation of the Life Achievement Award and entertainment.

The drawing for the winner of the grand-prize raffle for a choice of a 2019 Polaris model RZR 570 trail or a Ranger 570 Mid Size will take place at the end of the evening. Winner need not be present to win. The winner is responsible for income taxes. No cash value or substitutions. Go to Pinal40.org for more information and official rules.

Tickets for the grand prize are on sale now. For information on purchasing raffle tickets, please contact David Vermillion, event director, at 480-986-9238/602-628-5777 or dvermillion4@q.com.

Pinal 40 is a fraternity of community members organized with the primary objective of promoting Pinal County and its youth as well as farming and agriculture- related businesses. Philanthropically, Pinal 40 and its membership focus on providing support and funding for youth and education through agribusiness-related scholarships and support of local charities.


VIPs gather for a reception dinner for the annual Pinal 40 Arizona Agricultural Experience. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Pinal 40, a philanthropic fraternity, hosted its welcome dinner for the annual Arizona Agricultural Experience at Elements Event Center at Ak-Chin Circle in Maricopa Tuesday. Pinal 40 supports youth and education through agribusiness-related scholarships and local charities.

Tuesday night’s keynote speaker was Steve Keim, general manager of the Arizona Cardinals. The Pennsylvania native spoke about finding success by having passion and humility. He also answered questions about the Cardinals’ prospects for the upcoming season.


Pinal 40 was launched in 2014 as a 501(c)(3) to create a pool of philanthropists in the county. Members join only by invitation and must each raise $5,000 per year for the youth programs supported by Pinal 40. Those include FFA, 4-H and The Boys & Girls Clubs. Last year, the group raised more than $200,000.

“We decided Pinal County down here really needs a lot of help because we have poor communities and so forth, and they need support to help the kids,” said Dennis Dugan, a founder of Pinal 40.

Colton Debold, president of the FFA chapter in Casa Grande, said his organization benefits from the support of the Pinal 40 sponsors not only through scholarships but also in help with their projects.

Learn more about the organization at http://pinal40.org/.

The Arizona Agricultural Experience, which lasts through March 9, includes tours of the T&K Red River Dairy, Maricopa Agriculture Center, Ak-Chin Farms, Ehrmann Dairy Yogurt Plant and Tractor4 Supply Distribution Center. The host hotel is Harrah’s Ak-Chin.

Howard Wuertz, a pioneer in drip irrigation, was given a lifetime achievement award, the first presented by the young organization.