Jimmy Kimmel helps out Dave Rice Foundation party


ABC talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel showed his fondness for UNLV basketball by hosting the Dave Rice Foundation benefit gala May 17 in the MGM Grand Conference Center.

Kimmel, who grew up in Las Vegas, serves on the board of directors for the Rice Foundation, which raises support and awareness for several autism-related organizations in Southern Nevada.

The organization was founded by UNLV men’s basketball coach Dave Rice and his wife, Mindy.

A highlight of the event was the presentation of the Kenny Guinn Award for “Commitment to Community” to Nicole A. Cavenagh. Cavenagh is the founding clinical director of the Touro University Nevada Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities, where she is also a practicing neuropsychologist.

The benefit attracted 400 guests and opened with a reception and silent auction.

Attending were Dave Rice’s autistic son, 11-year-old Dylan, and Dave’s parents, Linda and Lowell Rice. Other guests included Maria and Ted Quirk, Bonnie and Doug Crosby, Lynn and Myron Martin, Kati and Brendan Keating, Jack Buchanan, former Gov. Bob Miller, UNLV President Don Snyder, Rep. Dina Titus, Touro College and University CEO and senior provost Shelley Berkley, and university Regents Kevin Page, Rick Trachok and Cedric Crear.

The event’s presenting sponsor was Konami, represented by the event’s co-chair Tom Jingoli.

During the three-course dinner, a live auction conducted by D.J. Allen included three works of art by speed painter Tim Decker that raised $17,000, two golf foursomes with Dave Rice at Southern Hills Country Club that sold for $3,000 each, dinner for six at Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant with Dave and Mindy Rice that sold for $2,400, a trip for two with the Rebel basketball team to watch the Rebels take on the Kansas Jayhawks that was purchased for $5,000, a two-night stay at the MGM that sold for $2,000, and a trip for two to be Kimmel’s guests at a taping of his show in Hollywood and an overnight stay at the Roosevelt Hotel that brought in $4,000.

More guests enjoying the evening were the Rev. Bill Kenny, Erick Harper, Candy and Mike Schneider, Leslie and Stacey Augmon, UNLV Athletic Director Tina Kunzer-Murphy, Jen and Dan Abdalla, Katie and Brendan Bussmann, Christin Downing, Sean Hinton, Lauren Walter, Rich Hilliard, and Jennifer Strobel.

Taste of France: Bishop Gorman High School had its 2014 Passport Wine Tasting poolside at Red Rock Resort May 16. The affair featured the fabulous wines of the French Riviera.

A silent auction boasted 77 packages, and sidewalk artists were busy painting caricatures of guests and Parisian scenes.

Traci Kesisian emceed the event. Entertainment was provided by Missy Cochran and included music by DJ Z One and the school’s band students.

Guests including Stephanie and Steve Stallworth, Jewel Brooks, Mari and Thom Landers, Bonnie and Phil Hernandez, Carolyn Sparks, Mikey Becker and Laura Hobbs dined on buffets of imported cheeses, fig preserves on mini French breads, grilled asparagus salad with charred peppers, pancetta, melon with ricotta cheese, assorted miniature quiches, roasted wild mushrooms in puff pastry, steak fries and desserts.

Wirtz Beverage supplied the wines, beers and cocktails.

More guests were Jeanne and Don Hamrick, Sue and Barry Becker, Nicole and Randy Becker, Nancy and Dick Etter, Buffie and Tom Kerestesi, Carolynann and TJ Matthews, Barb and Jim Silvestri, and Sean Lanni.