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‘Twilight’ fans throw ultimate book bash

Back for one last movie premier, Twi-Hard moms Danielle Avila and Alison Memmott were ready for the end of the "Twilight" series with the release of "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn u2212 Part 2."

For the last four years, Avila and Memmott have bonded over the planning for their "Twilight" movie release parties, drawing people from around the country and sometimes from other countries.

"It’s bittersweet," Avila said. "We have poured our blood, sweat and tears into this."

Memmott drove from Utah, where she lives, to plan the events with friend and Henderson resident Avila. The night before the party was another long evening of jewelry making, centerpiece decorating, CD burning and "Twilight" reminiscing.

The event started with five-course dinner of about 80 friends at Brio Tuscan Grille in Town Square Las Vegas, 6653 Las Vegas Blvd. South.

Along with dinner, Avila and Memmott prepared a litany of book-themed party favors, with everything from CDs of hand-selected music they felt went along with certain scenes in the book to jewelry made for each guest.

Items also included keepsakes from Forks and La Push, Wash., where the book series takes place, such as bricks from the high school, pebbles from the beach and foliage from the surrounding woods.

Guests also had a chance to win raffle items ranging from movie tickets to complimentary dinners at restaurants.

This year they had book-inspired prizes such as a trip to Forks, airfare included.

After dinner, the group scurried over to Rave Motion Pictures Town Square 18 for a private screening.

When all the swooning was done, Memmott and Avila scheduled a special performance from Las Vegas musician Benton Paul.

"He was in the running to be on the soundtrack for ‘New Moon,’ " Memmott said.

At the end of the night, the group planned to unleash balloons, each holding a message of what "Twilight" has meant to them.

Avila had to get special permission from the Federal Aviation Administration since Town Square Las Vegas is in McCarran International Airport’s flight path.

"We pretty much had all our dreams come true," Avila said, "except having Ellen (DeGeneres) come. I guess you can’t have everything."

As special as the books, movies and premiere parties have been, Avila and Memmott wanted to take an extra step and do something to give back to the community. The evening also served as a fundraiser for Whitney Elementary School.

After hearing about struggles of many of the students at Whitney, they decided to start The Dream Foundation, which provides funding to help students’ dreams come true, whether it is to play sports or take a music lesson.

"The money raised for this will help them pay for it," Avila said.

Avila and Memmott went to Whitney for the graduation of its fifth-grade class in June. They organized a balloon release for the students where they wrote down their dreams, tied them to the balloon and released them into the air.

"The teacher said she got choked up reading some of the dreams," Avila said.

The team raised $3,000 going into the event and didn’t have a set goal of what to raise.

Even though "Twilight" is ending, Aliva’s and Memmott’s friends have been pestering the duo about what the next event they are planning will entail.

"They ask us if we would do one for ‘The Hunger Games,’ " Avila said. "Absolutely not."

Memmott said with the tasks of everyday life, it is hard to plan parties of this scale regularly.

Avila added no other book has resonated with her since the "Twilight" series.

The next big event Avila and Memmott hope to plan is a trip to Forks, Wash.

But don’t count them completely out.

"If (‘Twilight’ author) Stephenie Meyer ever finishes ‘Midnight Sun,’ we might have to have a reunion,’ " Memmott said, referring to the alternative version of "Twilight" told through the male protagonist’s perspective. "You just might see us again."

For more information about The Dream Foundation, email girlygirl76@me.com.

Contact Henderson/Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at mlyle@viewnews.com or 702-387-5201.

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