Mardi Gras Offers a Race for the Crown

The beads have been ordered, the robes have been pressed, the crowns have been shined and the King Cakes are being made … this all could only mean one thing … Soroptimist International of Redding is in Mardi Gras mode. Soroptimist International of Redding’s 39th Annual Mardi Gras is just days away.

An evening of Mardi Gras includes music, food, dancing, prizes, and casino games. Chips are redeemed for prizes in an “all new, better than ever” gift store, which will include trips and golf packages. Just by walking through the door, you are entered into a chance to win. This year’s door prizes include a trip for five for a 2-night, 3-day stay at the R Wild Horse Ranch, a Shakespeare festival and overnight stay for two, and a ski package and stay at the Mt. Shasta Spa and Retreat.

A highlight of the evening is the crowning of our Mardi Gras King and Queen. Soroptimist will recognize two community members who have worked to change the lives of women and/or children in Shasta County by crowning them the official King & Queen of Mardi Gras on January 29th at 8:30 p.m. Thanks to nominations from the community, a selection of six candidates are working hard for your votes as they race for the crown. Votes can be received online daily at or ballots can be submitted at the following locations:

Redding Locations: National University, North Valley Bank on Churn Creek, and Leatherby’s; Anderson Location: Mary’s Pizza Shack; Shasta Lake City Location: North Valley Bank.

All votes must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Friday (Jan. 28). Now, to meet our King and Queen candidates:

Tad Shackles – Results Radio, Power 94

Tad has given countless hours in raising much-needed dollars for programming in Shasta County that services children and families in need. He has slept in parking lots to raise funds for Shasta Women’s Refuge, has filled vehicles with toys for Toys for Tots, and has taken young kids and their moms to Waterworks Park for the day. Tad shares: “I am very proud of my work with the Shasta Women’s Refuge this past summer. It was not only fulfilling to see the community come together and help me raise as much money as I did but also, if not more so, to be personally thanked by the women who have benefited from the service the shelter provides for families.”

Les Baugh – Shasta County Supervisor, District 5

Les Baugh is no stranger to giving of his time and supporting his community. As his day job, Les serves as twice-elected Shasta County Supervisor representing District 5. In his “spare” time, there are few agencies in this community Les has not served. Currently, Les is the chair of the Mercy Medical Center Advisory Board and spent the greater part of 2010 dedicated to developing the Anderson Community Garden to feed the hungry in our community. “I have a passion for serving and supporting needs within our community because the need exists. When Jesus says ‘love your neighbors,’ I hear that as a calling. As we help those who are the most vulnerable, we truly live out the words of Christ and for me, my personal ‘calling.’ The bottom line is this; if dressing up in a funny costume and dancing on the Cascade stage or walking around town in high heels can raise finances and awareness for great causes and for those in need, count me in!”

Eddie McAllister – Shasta County Public Health

Eddie has a love for giving back to his community and for working alongside our youth. Eddie serves as a Community Organizer with the Shasta County Public Health and serves on boards and committees of numerous organizations. Eddie makes a point of treating people, especially kids, with respect and is there to offer a hand, a ride, or some change to anyone in need. “It always feels good to be recognized for accomplishments that affect the lives of others. It feels good to know, in most cases, that I did not do it alone. You help members in the community with the help of members of the community.”

Candis Vaughan – North Valley Bank, Shasta Lake City

Candis is actively engaged in her community of Shasta Lake and is always making time to give to others. Candis is past chair of the Redding Relay for Life event and has served on the committee for 6 years. Candis is a Lions Club member and board Treasurer, Shasta Lake Chamber of Commerce Board President, Norcal Think Pink Coordinator, and Shasta Lake Coordinating Council Secretary. Candis believes that it is important to give back to your community and feels honored and privileged to be recognized for her community service work. “There are so many people that are in need, whether it is financially or with assistance with other things. I feel like I have been very fortunate in my life and want to pay it forward by giving back, besides the fact that I thoroughly enjoy doing volunteer work!”

Nadine Bailey – Community Activist

When it comes to Nadine Bailey, there aren’t many things in Shasta County that she has not been a part of. Recently, Nadine saw an unmet need for kids in foster care and worked countless hours to develop the Shasta County Friends of CASA. Amongst other things, Nadine serves as the Executive Director of the Sierra Cascade Logging Conference, is Chair of the Master Plan Revision for the Paul Bunyan Camp at Turtle Bay and serves on an advisory board for Northern Valley Catholic Social Service. Nadine is honored by the recognition but understands that without the help of others, none of the work she does would be possible. “I was raised in a small community where it was a fact of life that the people in the community, not the government, did what was needed to make the community a better place. I feel that so many people took time to make sure my life was better, that giving back is a way to honor those people that have blessed my life.”

Laural Park – Shasta Family Justice Center

Laural Park is one who cares about the human kind and understands that sometimes people just need a little extra help. Laural has been actively involved with the Shasta Family Justice Center since its inception, serving as the Volunteer Coordinator. Laural also gives her time to AAUW, Mercy Hospice, and the Haven Humane. “I feel honored to be a part of the transition these families are making. The courage and dedication they exhibit under such extreme circumstances is truly inspiring. While it is always rewarding to be recognized for things we value, my greatest satisfaction comes when I witness struggling people become empowered and watch as their lives become more manageable and fulfilled.”

Soroptimist has six very deserving individuals, but only one king and one queen can be crowned on January 29 at Mardi Gras. Don’t forget to vote at

Mardi Gras tickets are only $10 and can be purchased at Tri-Counties Bank inside of Raley’s on both Hartnell and Lake Blvd., at Kuebler’s Furniture on Churn Creek, at Edward Jones Investments on Placer St., by calling Sherry at 241-2485, or at the door the night of the event. All proceeds go to support Soroptimist International of Redding projects and scholarships.

By Staci Bertagna, Soroptimist International of Redding Member and Mardi Gras Chair

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