Nearly 500 guests arrived on the red carpet at the World Market Center June 6 to celebrate an “Evening of Hope,” an epicurean-style fundraiser for the Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada.
The foundation provides support services to 300 families a year, including children and youths from birth to age 21. The event took place in the 16th-floor ballroom overlooking downtown Las Vegas, amid a Candlelighters Children’s Art Gallery, with photography and art for sale.
The evening featured a silent and live auction, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and samples of desserts and entrees. The “Top of the World” dish was a home run with its bacon-wrapped peppadew with four-cheese and all-chili ponzu sauce, lobster bisque and cream brulee with strawberries.
The bidding war intensified for Stratosphere’s Top of the World restaurant chef Rick Giffen when he offered dinner for 12 as the prize. Things got so competitive that Giffen decided to prepare a private dinner for both the winners, who tied bids of $2,400 each. In all, the event raised $100,000.
Fifteen restaurants volunteered time and provided cuisine, including Capital Grille, Culinary Creations, Dom DeMarco’s, DW Bistro, Hash House a Go Go, Rollin Smoke BBQ, Mundo and Paymon’s Mediterranean Grill, among others. Wirtz Beverage was the alcohol sponsor. Centennial Toyota was the “diamond” sponsor.
“The moment the doctor said ‘cancer,’ I lost it. I had no clue what I needed,” said DeShawn McCorley, Karon’s mother. Candlelighters provide a variety of resources and services that included transportation, counseling, and $3,000 stipends to each family.
“We could not enjoy the success we have without volunteers,” said Rick McGough, chairman of the event.
Don Jean, founder and owner of BRANDHAUS Creative, received the Volunteer of the Year Award. Jean, a board member and a volunteer camp director, has donated more than $300,000 in in-kind services, including designs and artwork for Candlelighters’ branding campaigns.
“You don’t always have the time, but you have the heart,” Jean said.
Live entertainment was provided by the DJ C101 and John Colombo. Several of the Candlelighters children also performed.
Among the guests were Hannah Brook, Kelly Webb, Danielle Mungo, Alicia Avance, Jami Schopp, John Hester, Chuck Buchanan, Jackie York, and Southwest Gas representatives Mariliese Horsewood, Aila Romero, Sonya Headen and Justin Brown.