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Power of Love Gala raises money for research

Posted at 2:06 PM, May 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-22 14:21:46-04

Las Vegas Boulevard had a different name Saturday.

Clark County officials proclaimed it Tony Bennett Boulevard, in honor of the legendary singer's 90th birthday. Bennett was recognized at Keep Memory Alive's 20th annual Power of Love Gala at the MGM Garden Arena Saturday night.

On Thursday, Bennett was seen on 20 Las Vegas marquees around the city lit up with an image of the world-renowned artist in celebration of his 90th birthday and participation in the gala. More than 50 people attended the invite-only fête, including Bennett’s wife Susan Benedetto, while dozens of onlookers gathered around to watch the ceremony, which took place on the iconic Brooklyn Bridge at New York-New York Hotel & Casino.

Local Las Vegas entertainer Mark Shunock served as the emcee of the soiree and kicked-off the event by introducing the man of the hour, Bennett, and Keep Memory Alive Co-Founder and Chairman Larry Ruvo.

Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak then gave remarks recognizing Bennett’s outstanding career by proclaiming Las Vegas Boulevard to be renamed “Tony Bennett Boulevard” for the full day of the gala on Saturday. Following Sisolak’s presentation, Rossi Ralenkotter, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Visitors and Convention Authority, acknowledged Bennett’s impact on Las Vegas.
Next, Bennett and Ruvo took to the stage to discuss Bennett’s career, milestone birthday and what Keep Memory Alive and brain health meant to him. Ruvo then led the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday,” which concluded with a Dom Pérignon champagne toast by Shunock as the marquees illuminated with Bennett’s picture.
During the Power of Love gala, James Corden, Andra Day, Darius Rucker, Jordin Sparks and Steven Tyler performed heart-felt tributes of some of Bennett’s infamous hits. Continuing its 20-year history, the event raises funds and awareness for Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and its fight against brain disease including Alzheimer's, Huntington's and Parkinson's diseases, multiple sclerosis and multiple system atrophy.