Boys Town Nevada's eighth-annual "Journey of Hope" recently recognized Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White for his generosity with the HOPE award.
Boys Town Nevada opened its doors at 821 N. Mojave Road in 1991, but its history dates back more than 90 years when Father Edward Flanagan founded the program in Omaha, Neb. Boys Town helps at-risk children of all ages at the agency's 22-acre Las Vegas campus.
The sold-out event held at The Venetian offered cocktails, a silent auction and music by School of Rock for guests including Kevin Buckley, chair of the board of directors; Father Steven Boes, national executive director from Omaha; Winnie and Bob Schulman; Vanessa and James Houssels; Dan Tuntland; Sharon and Norman Jenkins; Donna and Sheldon Cloobeck; Howard S. Olshansky, executive director of Boys Town of Nevada; and John Marushok, event chairman.
Master of ceremonies was KLAS-TV, Channel 8 news anchor Dave Courvoisier, who was also a founding member of Boys Town Las Vegas. Tony Sgro introduced White, who has transformed the UFC into a multibillion dollar global brand. White has been named one of the most influential people in sports by Business Week, Sports Business Journal and Time and Esquire magazines. He has also been named "Nevada Sportsman of the Year" by ESPN Radio. He resides in Las Vegas with his wife, Anne, and their three children.
Christian Kolberg conducted a lively auction for two floor-seat tickets to the Miami Heat with airfare, which sold twice for $9,000 each. A Harry Winston diamond tennis bracelet went for $15,000, and a seven-day Laguna Beach vacation brought in $6,000.
A Harley-Davidson motorcycle's top bid was $22,000, and a Fantasy Factory Party for 20 guests sold for $14,000. Another tennis bracelet donated by the Jewelers of Las Vegas consisting of 13 carats of heart-shaped diamonds sold for $50,000. A three-on-three basketball game and lunch with Shaquille O'Neal in Orlando went for $32,500. A huge portrait of White painted on canvas sold for $75,000.
The evening concluded with entertainment by Human Nature and music by Louie Prima Jr.
More guests attending were Lorenzo Fertitta, Marc Ratner, Lawrence Epstein, Susan Fine and Max Spilka, Rokh Afshai, Carolyn Sparks, Eleonone and Edward Doumani, Bill Jansen, Phyllis Schwartz, Cliff Miller, Wendy and Richard Plaster, Melissa and Bob Brown, Larry Finuf, Mollie Sheridan and Bill Andrews, Joy Bell, Makan Delrahim, Gina Hines, Ann Kerestesi, Kelda and Carroll Johnson, Debra and Jack Smith, Kelley Goldberg, L.J. Williams, Jarrod Rickard, Emily Phan, Scott Manke and Amanda Yen.