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Bonneville County Republicans gearing up for Lincoln Day gala

Idaho Falls

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IDAHO FALLS – Members of the Bonneville County Republican Central Committee are gearing up for their fifth annual Lincoln Day Gala this weekend.

The event kicks off Saturday at Melaleuca Field in Idaho Falls.

Committee Chairman Mark Fuller tells EastIdahoNews.com the purpose of the event is to raise funds for the Republican party.

“We use it to fund all our events during the remainder of the year to support conservative candidates. We also have a responsibility to pay an amount each year to fund the state party program,” Fuller says. “We have one fundraiser a year and we put our whole heart and soul into it.”

A VIP reception will kick off at 5 p.m. The main event for the general public begins at 7 p.m. with a flag-raising ceremony and speakers.

The first speaker will be Nate Silvester, a former deputy with the Bellevue Marshal’s Office. A TikTok video of him mocking LeBron James for his comments after a police shooting earned him national attention.

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“He’ll be speaking for about 15 minutes. During the program, there will be some raffles, some auction items,” Fuller says.

The main speaker for the evening is James O’Keefe, founder of Project Veritas, a nonprofit journalism enterprise whose goal, according to its website, is “to achieve a more ethical and transparent society” by investigating and exposing “corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud, and other misconduct in both public and private institutions.”

O’Keefe is slated to speak for about 45 minutes. Other activities, including an awards presentation, will follow before a fireworks show at 9:30 p.m.

“The fireworks will only be seen inside. They won’t be the big ones that go up in the air like at the (Melaleuca Freedom Celebration). They’ll be down on the field, but it’ll be a great event,” says Fuller.

Last year’s gala, which featured conservative podcast host Candace Owens, has been the committee’s biggest event to date. Tickets were sold out with COVID restrictions in place. But Fuller anticipates this event will be their biggest one yet.

“These big-name speakers that we bring in are pricey. The total cost to put this event on is in the neighborhood of $60,000. We hope to cover all those costs and then have enough to fund our events the remainder of the year,” Fuller explains.

The Bonneville County Republican Central Committee has meetings the second Thursday of every month at the Paramount Theater in Idaho Falls. Anyone is welcome to attend those.

Tickets are $40 and include a $5 voucher for concessions and a free raffle ticket. Additional raffle tickets will be for sale. Click here to purchase tickets.

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