Nevada Cancer Institute's annual "Rock for the Cure" party, which featured a surprise concert by Rod Stewart, raised more than $15 million Nov. 15 at Mandalay Bay.
The largest donation of the night came from gala chairmen Glynda and Jim Rhodes, who gave $10 million in memory of Jim's father, Leonard Rhodes.
Heather and Jim Murren, founders of the Nevada Cancer Institute, made a gift of $1 million in the name of Jim's late father, Jack Murren.
More than 1,200 guests attended the event that began on the patio where cocktails and canapes prepared by chefs Rick Moonen and Charlie Palmer accompanied the hosted bars. Guests received fringe shawls to ward off the cool evening air.
The East Indian theme featured dancers, snake charmers and magicians.
Tents were set up revealing 64 one-of-a-kind silent auction items including art and sculptures, cuisine and parties, fashion, travel, jewelry and other luxurious packages. Chairwomen for the silent auction were Lovee Arum and Myra Greenspun.
Among the guests were Frank Schreck, Maria and Ted Quirk, Renee and Tony Marlon, Winnie and Robert Schulman, Ellen and Joel Barish, Patty and Mike Morrissey, Sonja and Michael Saltman, and Jan and Owen Nitz.
When seating for dinner was announced, guests entered a doorway into a long white tunnel that included Buddhas, sitting areas, tall pillars decorated with black orchids, candle-lit shrines and a rain curtain before arriving at the dining area, which had been transformed into an elegant dreamlike setting.
Master of ceremonies was radio and TV talk show host Larry King. Dancing girls performed on the huge stage and trapeze artists dropped from out of the ceiling over the dining tables.
Heather and Jim Murren spoke about the institute's plans for expansion, including the support services building under construction and outreach programs throughout the state.
A video featured the achievements made in the institute's six years. It included messages from U.S. Sens. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, and John Ensign, R-Nevada, as well as remarks from cancer survivors, and concluded with remarks by Betsy Rhodes, a cancer survivor and the wife of Leonard Rhodes, who died within five months of being diagnosed with cancer.
gourmet dinner was prepared by celebrity chefs Sean DiCicco, Louis Osteen, Michael Mina and Vincent Pilon.
A live auction conducted by Peter Stremmel followed for 13 packages, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars. The biggest bid of $500,000 was for 14 people to spend seven days in the Fiji Islands aboard the luxurious Arctic P yacht owned by James Packer.
The evening's comedy was provided by Howie Mandel, with Stewart and his band making a surprise appearance.
Also attending were Sylvester Stallone, Paris Hilton, Kimberly Stewart, Tommy Lee, Criss Angel, Barbara Greenspun, Carolyn and Andrew Hagopian, Soria Gallinato, Ashley Carter, Arnie Feffer, Sally Miles, Laurie Steed, Sharon and Norm Jenkins, Madeleine and Don Andress, Randy Black, Susan Graves, and Joan and Jim Hammer.
Salute: The Las Vegas Philharmonic Guild had its Fall Fantastique Luncheon at the Renaissance Nov. 14 to honor Mayor Oscar Goodman and to welcome David Itkin, the new music director and conductor of the orchestra.
Guitarist Gary Queen entertained during the champagne reception.
Among those on hand were Juliana McRae, Guild president, and Bill Freyd, president and chief executive officer of the Las Vegas Philharmonic. The event co-chairs were Kirby Colson and Melanie Persson.
Other guests included Phil Koslow, David Palumbo, Bob Agnew, Marino DeSilva, Diane and Patrick Clary, Winnie Schulman, Sondra Lynch, Gail Anderson, Phyllis and Hugh Roberts, Zoe Brown, DeAnn Letourneau, Beverly and Mike Mykisen, and C.J. and Art Woolston.
Goodman and Itkin were the luncheon speakers.
Goodman also auctioned off three items in the live auction. A night's stay at the Renaissance with breakfast for two and dinner at Envy Steakhouse was won by Juliana and Matthew McRae for $850. Dinner for four at Agave Comida with Itkin and his wife was sold to Robert Alban for $1,200. The bid of $2,100 was paid by Laura Mulkey for lunch for four at the Vintner Grill with the mayor.