Community Rebuilds Executive Director Emily Niehaus, left, Grand County Community Development Director Zacharia Levine and Grand County League of Women Voters member Darcey Brown gather ahead of an upcoming panel discussion on affordable housing in Grand County. The April 13 discussion is one of several events that the Grand County League of Women Voters is holding in April and May. [Photo courtesy of Rob Kerchen]

Informed citizenry is the goal of the Grand County League of Women Voters’ silent auction fundraiser.

The event will be held on Saturday, April 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Moab Arts and Recreation Center, 111 E. 100 North. A large array of items and services will be for sale – proceeds of which will go toward hosting the league’s next candidates forum.

“Before local elections, all candidates are asked questions that they don’t know beforehand,” League of Women Voters member Darcey Brown said. “Each candidate gets a different question. It’s candid versus canned answers.”

The theme for the auction fundraiser is “At Your Service.” Community members have donated unique services such as an hour of sewing repairs, babysitting and shuttle service. Other items include a custom mesquite wood table made by Eddie Morandi, a handwoven shawl and homemade pies. A large number of gift certificates will also be up for grabs – including certificates from Canyon Voyages Adventure Co., Desert Bistro and Chile Pepper Bike Shop.

“The services are going to be fun,” Brown said. “There are lots of lessons – dance, golf, French – and adventures such as a guided bike trip.”

Other unusual items include a tequila lecture and tasting, and a French “talk and tea.” Molly McClish is donating a truckload of compost. Brown and a friend have donated a “floating cocktail party on the river,” while Mary Wilson is offering four floral arrangements throughout the year. AnneVitte Morse is donating a catered dinner for six.

“She’s a fabulous cook,” Brown said. “Her presentation and dinner is over the top.”

Apart from the silent auction, there will be some items for outright sale such as framed paintings and cards from local artists, a “CamelBak” hydration pack, a backpacking camp stove and phone charger, and a tea set.

“The auction closes at 8 p.m., and you don’t need to be present to win your bid,” Brown said. “Pricing ranges from $5 to $500.”

On Monday, April 13, the league is hosting a six-member panel discussion about affordable housing in Moab. The panel will consist of Grand County Community Development Director Zacharia Levine, Housing Authority of Southern Utah Executive Director Ben Riley and Community Rebuilds Executive Director Emily Niehaus, among others. The discussion will be held at 5:15 p.m. at the Grand County Public Library, which is located at 257 E. Center St.

The League of Women Voters is a national nonpartisan political organization with chapters nationwide that includes both male and female members. There are eight men in Moab’s group, which has 65 league members overall. Anyone of any age is welcome to join.

According to its mission statement, the group “encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.”

Joan Gough has been a member of the Moab League for 30-plus years. She said she enjoys most that the league is political, but nonpartisan in its work to increase knowledge of issues, and awareness of upcoming elections. She remembers one particular issue that the League was involved in decades ago.

“There was a proposal to put a low-level nuclear waste incinerator near Cisco,” Gough said. “The League did a study and recommended the county not allow licensure. The league can take credit in part,” for the nuclear waste incinerator not being built near Moab.

League meetings are held the second Monday of each month at 5:15 p.m. and are usually held at Grand County Public Library. The public meetings include guest speakers or panel discussions regarding various subjects of interest to the community. For example, in February, Grand County High School Principal Stephen Hren and Grand County School District Superintendent Scott Crane came to talk about the school’s grade ranking under the new state testing system.

On May 15 and 16, the League of Women Voters of Grand County will host its annual convention and fundraiser. This year’s theme is “The Legacy of Our Public Lands through Partnerships, Past, Present and Future.” Presenters include Jen Jackson Quintano, author of “Blow Sand in his Soul: Bates Wilson, the Heart of Canyonlands,” as well as Public Lands Solutions founder and director Ashley Korenblat, and Sara Baldwin Auck, a clean energy policy and partnership expert. The event will be held at the Grand Center, 182 N. 500 West. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit

LWV plans three events to inform voters in April, May

What: League of Women Voters panel discussion on solutions to the affordable housing problem in Grand County

When: Monday, April 13 at 5:15 p.m.

Where: Grand County Public Library, 257 E. Center St.

What: Annual Silent Auction for the Grand County League of Women Voters’ Candidates Forum

When: Saturday, April 11, 6-8 p.m.

Where: Moab Arts and Recreation Center, 111 E. 100 North

Information: 435-259-4125;