Nothing beats having Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana on your team when it comes to raising money for kids.
Montana took 20 KLUC listeners who paid $750 to lunch at Rao's (Caesars Palace) on Wednesday.
Montana turned over the proceeds to KLUC's toy drive hosted by the station's Chet Buchanan, who spends 12 days atop scaffolding for the benefit.
Buchanan said Montana has been a supporter of the drive in recent years through his friendship with Rick Zeller, vice president of customer development at Caesars Palace.
The former Notre Dame star let it be known "he wanted to do something to raise more money," Buchanan said.
Not only did the lunch package include a football autographed by Montana, but he offered to field all questions. And he didn't duck any tough ones, I'm told.
But what happens at Rao's, stays at Rao's.
Frank Pellegrino, a co-owner of Rao's, picked up the lunch tab.
Buchanan and his morning team started fast. Nightclub employees at XS and Tryst at Wynn Las Vegas showed up on Wednesday with $172,000 in toys, including 192 bikes.
The haul on opening day Nov. 29 included $10,000 from Rich Harrison on behalf of the "Pawn Stars," and another $10,000 came from cast mate Austin "Chumlee" Russell, who challenged Buchanan to climb the scaffolding.
Other big gifts came from staffers at Tao, Lavo and Marquee (114 bikes) and headliners George Wallace ($7,500 in tickets and toys) and Criss Angel ($20,000 in magic merchandise and $5,000).
Miss Universe Leila Lopes of Angola showed up Wednesday. Buchanan is co-hosting the Miss Universe preliminaries with her next week at Planet Hollywood Resort.
The finals of the Luxury magazine model search are today at the Fashion Show runway from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. A male and female winner will be crowned from the six finalists: Gia Crimi, Celeste Bright, Akisha Simmons, Sterling Snyder, Shawn Dearing and David Raanan. Luxury magazine is owned by Stephens Media, which also owns the Review-Journal.
THE SCENE AND HEARD
The ashes of meteorologist and animal activist John Fredericks will be placed next to his golden lab Jordan at the Craig Road Pet Cemetery. Fredericks' family made the decision this week. A public memorial is set for 10 a.m. Saturday at Canyon Ridge Christian Church, 6200 W. Lone Mountain Road. Fredericks, who was joined by Jordan on the weather reports at KVBC-TV, Channel 3 (now KSNV), died Nov. 23. His name will be added to Jordan's headstone, with a photo of them. Organizers say they have fallen $3,000 short of covering the burial expenses. Donations can be made through the Nevada State Bank (account number 0588016311, routing number: 122400779).
Rapper and boxing promoter 50 Cent, temporarily denied access to the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez news conference for lack of a credential on Wednesday at the MGM Grand. Some of the older security personnel didn't recognize him, but the situation was quickly resolved.
THE PUNCH LINE
"The engagement between 86-year-old Hugh Hefner and his 26-year-old girlfriend, Crystal Harris, is back on. I don't want to say that Hefner is old, but the ring boy is Larry King." - Jay Leno
Norm Clarke can be reached at 702-383-0244 or email@example.com. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke. His weekly segment, "Norm Clarke's Vegas," airs during the "Morning Blend" on KTNV-TV, Channel 13 every Thursday.