Here are some of the recent donations made in the Las Vegas community.
As part of its continued partnership, Affinity Gaming donated $26,400 to the Alzheimer's Association Desert Southwest Chapter at the Walk to End Alzheimer's Las Vegas at Town Square on Oct. 27. Primm Valley Casino Resorts General Manager Stuart Richey presented the check to Desert Southwest Chapter Executive Director Dan Lawler and Regional Director Kate Ingalsby before joining more than 1,900 Affinity Gaming employees walking. Since 2016, Affinity Gaming has contributed $206,650 to the association with the majority of that contribution staying in Southern Nevada.
Vegas Indoor Skydiving raised more than $3,000 for the NSPCA, as it celebrated its third annual Tunnel Jam Flight Competition and inaugural Tunnel Jam Celebrity Challenge on Oct. 19. The one-of-a-kind competition, which featured two divisions and 15 of the country’s best bodyflyers, also raised hundreds of dollars’ worth of pet items, including dog food, blankets and dog toys. The tunnel competition was kicked off by the inaugural Tunnel Jam Celebrity Challenge, featuring comedian Carrot Top, Vegas Golden Knights in-arena announcer Mark Shunock, BMX pro Ricardo Laguna and Five Finger Death Punch bassist, and former Vegas Indoor Skydiving instructor, Chris Kael. The celebrities attempted to throw a ball through a custom-made hoop, which was suspended in Vegas Indoor Skydiving’s 22-foot-tall wind tunnel, with the wind running at full speed. For every ball that went through the hoop, Vegas Indoor Skydiving and Love Hikes donated $100 to the NSPCA.
Circus Couture “Encompass” raised $279,000 in October, in support of Cure 4 the Kids Foundation, Nevada’s only nonprofit outpatient treatment center for children affected by cancer and other life-threatening conditions. In its 9th year, more than 1,200 people attended Circus Couture in its new location at the Brooklyn Bowl on the Las Vegas Strip. This year, performances included numerous immersive experiences throughout the venue for attendees to enjoy. In addition to artistic performances and fashion, the event included a live auction. Criss Angel of Criss Angel MINDFREAK® LIVE! made a $100,000 donation, purchasing all of the glass art pieces made by children at the Domsky Glass Studio. Angel says he will proudly display the artwork at the new Criss Angel Theater at Planet Hollywood. Due to overwhelming community support, and the support of sponsors and attendees, Circus Couture has raised $1.7 million dollars over the past nine years for childhood cancer causes.
Dutch Bros Las Vegas raised $6,286 for the Las Vegas Diaper Bank during this year’s annual Buck for Kids (B4K) event. Each year on National Coffee Day, Dutch Bros donates $1 from each drink sold to local children’s organizations. Since its inception in 2006, B4K has raised a grand total of more than $2.1 million. The Las Vegas Diaper Bank is dedicated to providing diapers and supplies to families in need in the greater Las Vegas area.
DISCOVERY Children’s Museum held their annual The Magic of DISCOVERY Gala at the Caesars Palace on Sept. 29. Guests dressed to impress in their best Rock Star Red Carpet attire, for a night centered around the children of our community. The event raised over $300,000 to help fund educational programs in the Las Vegas Valley as well as strengthen DISCOVERY’S programming. During the evening, a surprise donation was announced when Judy Cebulko, a DISCOVERY Children’s Museum board member, donated $10,000 to DISCOVERY Children’s Museum in honor of Jeri and Rick Crawford. Additionally, 50 #VegasStronger hats were sold at $100 each, to commemorate an almost one-year anniversary. Because of their outstanding contributions toward strengthening education and improving the well-being of children throughout Las Vegas, Jeri and Rick Crawford were recipients of the 19th annual DISCOVERY Children’s Museum’s 2018 Great Friend to Kids Award. The Crawfords have been long-time supporters of strengthening youth initiatives and arts education throughout the Las Vegas Valley.
In August, Drai’s representatives greeted students from Title One Zoom School, Arturo Cambeiro Elementary and gave them the opportunity to pick any available backpack of their choice filled with all the supplies they needed for the year. Drai’s Cares, the charitable arm of Drai’s Beachclub & Nightclub is focused on the community and committed to helping students succeed in Las Vegas. This is the second year in a row Drai’s has raised enough money to purchase new backpacks and supplies for students.
In August, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas donated $1 million to the AAA Scholarship Foundation to help provide scholarships for underserved students in Nevada. Scholarship recipients and their families were honored by the resort’s CoStars at the exclusive event and enjoyed a special showing of the movie “Coco” at Dive In Movies high above the Las Vegas Strip at Boulevard Pool. The AAA Scholarship Foundation awards scholarships solely to underserved students. The typical AAA Scholarship student is a minority living with a struggling single parent/caregiver in a high crime community. More than 85 percent of AAA scholarships are distributed to children at or below 185 percent of poverty.
Cox Charities, the philanthropic arm of Cox Communications in Las Vegas, presented $95,000 in grants to 29 local nonprofit organizations in August. Ten nonprofits received $5,000 each and the remaining 19 organizations received grants in amounts ranging from $1,500 to $3,000 at an annual grant distribution ceremony.
The awards were presented to a representative of each of the local 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations listed below. The presentation was made at a bi-annual employee gathering led by senior leaders of the Cox Southwest Region.
Cox Charities 2018 Grant Recipients:
- Acing Autism, $2,500
- After School-All Stars, $3,000
- Andson Foundation, $5,000
- Boys Town Nevada, $2,657
- CASA Foundation, $2,500
- Communities in Schools of Nevada, $5,000
- Edward Kline Memorial Homeless Veterans Fund, $2,500
- Family & Child Treatment of Southern Nevada, $2,500
- Foster Kinship, $1,000
- Friends of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Foundation, $5,000
- Grant a Gift Autism Foundation, $2,500
- HELP of Southern Nevada, $1,500
- Junior Achievement of Southern Nevada, $2,500
- Las Vegas Clark County Library District Foundation, $2,500
- Las Vegas Philharmonic, $2,172
- Miracle Flights, $2,500
- Nathan Adelson Hospice Foundation, $2,500
- Nevada Child Seekers, $5,000
- Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation, $5,000
- Nevada Diabetes Association for Children & Adults, $5,000
- Opportunity Village Foundation, $3,000
- Refuge for Women Las Vegas, $5,000
- Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Las Vegas, $5,000
- Street Teens, $2,000
- Serving our Kids Foundation, Inc., $5,000
- The Animal Foundation, $2,000
- The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada, $5,000
- The Public Education Foundation (PEF), $3,000
- The Smith Center For The Performing Arts, $2,172
Students from Merryhill Preschools on Grand Teton Drive and Snow Trail in Las Vegas delivered a donation of more than 2,000 food items, paper goods and toiletries they collected throughout the month of July – in conjunction with students at Merryhill Preschools on Alta Drive and Durango Drive to a representative from Ronald McDonald House of Greater Las Vegas. The food donations were used to pack lunch bags for families with children in the hospital served by the organization as part of its Lunch is On Us program, which delivers 740 lunches per week to children staying at University Medical Center and Sunrise Children’s Hospital. Students also decorated lunch bags and created cards with words of encouragement.
In its continued effort to “Feed the World. Better,” Oasis Biotech, one of the nation’s largest indoor farming facilities of its kind has donated 130 pounds of its freshly harvested Evercress produce to Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada to be used in both the St. Vincent Lied Dining Facility and Hands of Hope Community Pantry. With the produce being delivered within 24 hours of harvesting, this is one of the freshest and most nutritious food donations the non-profit has ever received.
The results of Las Vegas Restaurant Week are in! From posh Las Vegas Strip eateries to local favorites, 172 restaurants across the valley joined the fight against hunger during the culinary event, raising a record-breaking total of more than $230,000 for Southern Nevada’s only food bank. From June 18-29, restaurants across the valley offered prix-fixe menus at price points ranging from $20 to $80, with a fixed portion of each meal’s cost supporting Three Square’s mission of providing meals to the one in eight Las Vegans who struggle with hunger. This year’s proceeds will help Three Square provide approximately 690,000 meals to the more than 271,000 food insecure residents in Southern Nevada. Since its inception in 2007, Restaurant Week has raised a total of nearly $1.6 million. For more information, visit https://www.helpoutdineoutlv.org/
The Darden Foundation recently awarded a $12,000 grant to Three Square Food Bank to assist the nonprofit in its efforts of providing help to people struggling with hunger in Southern Nevada. The generous unrestricted grant will allow Three Square to allocate funds toward programs helping to reach the most vulnerable populations, such as children and seniors.
With the new school year just around the corner, staff from the Westland Real Estate Group made certain the kids at Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada, Boulder Highway Clubhouse, were ready for the first day of class. More than 100 members ages 5 to 18 received backpacks filled with essentials.
Latinos are less likely than Caucasians or African Americans to know the stroke warning signs. La Bonita Supermarkets worked to help change this statistic last month, American Stroke Month, by supporting the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Throughout May at all La Bonita locations, customers could donate $1.00 and a paper heart with their name on it was displayed on store walls. Employees also shared F.A.S.T. messaging and cooking demonstrations were held every Wednesday. The campaign was a huge success with over $16,500 raised to aid in the fight against stroke.
Three Square Food Bank, Walmart and Feeding America are extending their thanks to everyone who helped raise $148,858.12 for the more than 271,000 people who struggle with food insecurity in Southern Nevada as part of the fifth annual “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaign this past April.
Students at Merryhill Elementary School on Durango Drive in Las Vegas recently collected more than 1,000 used markers to recycle through the Crayola ColorCycle program. Through this new program, Crayola® will convert the markers into clean fuel that can be used to power vehicles, heat homes, cook meals and more. The marker drive was led by third-grade students, who have been learning the importance of recycling and promoted the program to other students throughout the school. Following the drive, the students helped count and package what totaled more than 20 pounds of markers before they sent them to Crayola.
Blue Man Group Las Vegas raised more than $12,000 to benefit Grant a Gift Autism Foundation at their fourth annual sensory-friendly benefit performance. The special show was suitable for children and adults living on the autism spectrum. Prior to the show, The Smith Center led a modified drum circle for children enrolled in Grant a Gift Autism Foundation programs. Guests were also provided with complimentary popcorn, sunglasses and glowsticks to enjoy during the show. All attendees were welcomed into the theater and enjoyed opening remarks from Terri Janison of Grant a Gift Autism Foundation. Following the sensory-friendly show, guests were treated to a special meet and greet with the Blue Men and Band members.
On behalf of The Las Vegas Philharmonic Guild, Robert Kramer, Guild President, presented a check for $37,000 to the Las Vegas Philharmonic before its season finale performance on May 19, 2018. Jeri Crawford, Las Vegas Philharmonic’s President & CEO accepted the donation on behalf of the orchestra. The Guild, comprised of nearly 300 members, has been supporting the orchestra through its volunteer and fundraising efforts since July 2003 and has raised and donated more than $600,000 over the past fifteen years. Recently, the Guild received a prestigious award from the League of American Orchestras for their 2017 Gala, Romanian Rhapsody. The award recognizes the Guild’s innovative and successful fundraising event among their peers in the industry.
Local community partners and supporters of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Las Vegas gathered for a day of golf, sun, and fun on June 1 at the third annual Rock the Socks Golf Classic. Thanks to this amazing group of golfers, more than $27,000 was raised to support families staying at the Ronald McDonald House while their children receive critical medical treatment. More than 80 golfers hit the links to play 18 holes on the beautiful Bear’s Best Golf Course. The event featured on-course activities and games like the Red Shoe Society’s margarita hole. Golfers tried their hand at corn hole, enjoyed a refreshing margarita, and learned about the young professionals’ support of the House. Giveaways and raffles were also featured; two roundtrip tickets on Southwest Airlines were raffled off to a lucky winner. The golf classic ended with an awards luncheon emceed by John Shaffer with Beasley Media Group, who announced two of our local McDonald’s owner/operators as the first and second placed foursomes. Congratulations to Brent Bohn’s team and Tim Thomas’ team for an outstanding round of golf!
The members of Impact Las Vegas, a Nevada nonprofit women’s collective giving organization in its fifth grant year, voted on June 2 to award their $35,0000 grant to Girls On the Run, Las Vegas. Girls On the Run Las Vegas (GOTR LV) is a physical activity-based positive youth development (PYD) program designed to enhance girls’ social, psychological and physical skills and behaviors to successfully navigate life experiences. Since 2011, GOTR LV has partnered with 52 Southern Nevada elementary schools, 12 middle schools, and 4 Boys & Girls Clubs to provide evidence-based curriculum delivered by GOTR-trained, caring and competent coaches to more than 2,000 3rd to 8th grade girls. Small teams of 12-15 girls meet for 90 minute-sessions, twice a week over the span of ten weeks and every lesson includes dynamic discussions, activities, and running games. Girls on the Run is the only national physical activity-based positive youth development program for girls with compelling evidence of program impact. Girls are encouraged to join the program regardless of previous running experience and level of physical fitness. The standard registration includes materials for all sessions, healthy snacks, T-shirt, water bottle, and Girls on the Run 5k entry. The Impact Las Vegas grant will allow GOTR LV to expand their program by funding full program scholarships for 175 at-risk girls from high-poverty schools.
To celebrate Library Lovers' Month, the Las Vegas High School Kin (Kids In Need) Club donated the books they collected from students to Teens Helping Teens, a registered nonprofit organization founded by and served by teens to help underprivileged, homeless, sheltered and displaced youth in our community. Teens Helping Teens continuously stock the libraries of shelters and drop-in centers to make sure books are always available.
Three Square Food Bank was recently awarded a grant from The Kroger Co. Foundation in the amount of $50,000. The donation, equivalent to 150,000 meals, will help the one in seven Southern Nevadans who struggle with hunger.
This gift was made possible through the dedicated partnership with the Smith’s operating division of the Kroger Family of Stores. Since its founding in 1987, The Kroger Co. Foundation has been committed to the communities it serves, with a strategic focus on supporting organizations working to end hunger, improve food security and bring more balanced meals to families in need. This is a tradition Barney Kroger started when he opened his first store 134 years ago.
Together with partners like The Kroger Co. Foundation, Three Square is able to distribute more than 36 million meals each year and reach more than 164,000 unique individuals every month.
Nevada Blind Children's Foundation (NBCF) was recently named the recipient of a $5,000 grant. Dr. Chris Chiodo, an optometrist at The Vision Centers and a board member of NBCF, nominated the charity for the impact they have visually impaired children. ABB Optical Group created the ABB Cares grant program to recognize organizations throughout the country that have improved the quality of life in their communities.
The ABB Cares grant will help fund NBCF’s “Afterschool Adventures” life skills program and educational classes for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. NBCF’s programming includes What’s Cooking?, a class that helps students learn how to prepare meals with braille measuring cups, spoons and other utensils, Tech and Task programs that focus on a hands-on approach to adaptive technology, Booktime Buddies, a weekly Saturday program for certified therapy dogs and tutors to work with visually impaired students, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) classes, and more.
UnitedHealthcare presented a $25,000 donation to Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada following a bike-for-dollars fundraiser at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018 in Las Vegas. Conference attendees pedaled on stationary bikes at the UnitedHealthcare booth, with the company donating $1 for each mile up to $25,000.
As part of the check presentation, UnitedHealthcare also donated 150 bicycle helmets to children who are members at the Lied Memorial Boys & Girls Club of Southern Nevada. Leah Thomas, a member of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, helped fit each child with their helmet, provided a lesson in helmet and bike safety, and discussed the best stretches and exercises to do before a bike race.
Along with UnitedHealthcare mascot Dr. Health E. Hound, kids were treated to healthy snacks and given the opportunity to decorate their helmets with stickers and decals. Thomas also handed out posters and signed autographs for the kids.
Affinity Gaming donated $12,800 to the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada in recognition of their response to the tragic Oct. 1 shooting in Las Vegas. Affinity Gaming CEO Michael Silberling presented the check to Dr. John Fildes, chief of trauma and UNLV school of Medicine chief of surgery in front of many other members of University Medical Center and Affinity Gaming staff.
The gift will go to the UMC Foundation, in support of UMC Emergency Services and Trauma Center, for the purchase of equipment and technology, training and education of UMC staff members and the broader community, counseling and support services for UMC staff and patients, and general UMC Trauma Center and Emergency Services operations.
The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™ provided a $50,000 gift to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) Foundation during CES® 2018 held at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Big Mess BAR-BQ at Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall kicked-off the “Big Mess Challenge” on Feb. 1 with an epic battle between the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) and Las Vegas Fire & Rescue Department (LVFRD), emceed by Mark Shunock, creator of Mondays Dark and host for Vegas Golden Knights/Magic Mike Live.
Members from both organizations faced off to see who could scarf down the meal in 30 minutes or less. LVMPD was victorious, winning bragging rights and a championship belt thanks to Officer Daniel Cruz who was the only person to finish the entire meal with just seconds left on the clock. But honestly, everyone won as Big Mess donated $3,000 to LVMPD, LVFRD and Mark Shunock ($1,000 to each) to be given to charities of their choice, which included the Injured Police Officers Fund, Vegas Fire and Rescue Charitable Association (VFRCA) and Mondays Dark.
Henderson Hyundai Superstore has donated more than one thousand vehicle parts, valued at over $72,000 to the automotive program at Basic Academy of International Studies in Henderson. The donation, which is the largest in the school’s automotive program’s history, will help students gain valuable knowledge of current automotive maintenance processes.
Henderson Hyundai owner Frank Maione said the donation came about following a routine parts inventory count at the dealership. While redundant or unnecessary parts would normally be sold online, the team wanted to do something more this time. The topic of nearby Basic’s automotive program came into the discussion, and Maione quickly made the decision to donate them.
Basic Academy’s automotive program covers eight key sections of automotive maintenance: engine, transmission, manual transmission, air conditioning, electrical, brakes, steering and safety. The program aims to teach students hands-on skills in all of these areas, such as how to perform oil changes, and repair or replace brakes, belts and hoses.
LaPratt is in the process of deciding what the first projects will be for the new parts, and Maione and his team at Henderson Hyundai Superstore eagerly await to hear how the students use the equipment. They will unquestionably provide a greater amount of relevant automotive knowledge for hundreds of Henderson high school students.
Henderson Hyundai will also hold a special career day this year for the school’s graduating auto students to help with interview skills and job placement.
Sands Cares - the global corporate citizenship program of The Venetian, The Palazzo and Las Vegas Sands Corp. - is donating $25,000 to help fund the operating costs of local philanthropic organization, Mondays Dark. Twice a month, Mondays Dark gathers an eclectic cast of guests for 90 minutes of conversation and entertainment - with a mission to raise $10,000 per performance for a rotating roster of Las Vegas charities. Ticket prices for the variety show start at $20, and the list of charities waiting to partner with Mondays Dark continues to grow.
Since 2013, the ongoing program has partnered with more than 50 local charities, raising more than $500,000. The donation will be ceremoniously presented by the cast of "BAZ - A Musical Mash Up" at a future show. Upcoming partner charities include Miracle Flights and Baby's Bounty (March); Tyler Robinson Foundation and HELP of Southern Nevada (April); and New Vista and Positively Arts Foundation (May). Sands Cares also donated theatre and staging equipment to help the organization create The Space, a Las Vegas community-driven charity-based arts complex, and home to Mondays Dark.
In March, the fundraising team of Bald by Design, led by Phil Ralston, president of American Nevada Company, raised more than $96,000 for St. Baldrick’s Foundation and celebrated with a head shave at McMullan’s Irish Pub.
The Shade Tree, a 24-hour accessible shelter designed to specifically meet the needs of women and children in crisis, received a Little Free Library, thanks to the generosity of the FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association, Las Vegas chapter. The donation of the Library included a beautiful blue weather-proof library box to house a variety of books that will be donated and regularly restocked by the Las Vegas Clark County Library District Foundation. Those who attended the dedication included: Stacey Lockhart, executive director, The Shade Tree, Jonathan Ullman, president, FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association, Las Vegas chapter and Leslie Valdes, volunteer program coordinator, Las Vegas Clark County Library District Foundation.
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