Updated March 26, 2020 - 12:59 pm
Whether it’s performing at the MGM Grand Garden, T-Mobile Arena, Park Theater or even on a personal watercraft across Lake Bellagio, Bruno Mars is an MGM Resorts International star.
Mars is giving back to his Las Vegas Strip headlining partner. He announced Thursday morning a $1 million donation to the MGM Resorts Foundation, supporting MGM employees in financial hardship because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mars’ donation is a match of the $1 million given by MGM Resorts to launch the foundation.
“We consider Bruno Mars as part of the MGM family and appreciate what he is doing to help our employees and their families during these uncertain times,” Bill Hornbuckle, acting CEO and president of MGM Resorts International, said in a statement. “We recently expanded the eligibility requirements for the fund to help as many employees as we can who are impacted by the crisis, and this donation will help us expand our reach even further.”
Hornbuckle also announced in a video message Thursday that the estate of late resort legend Kirk Kerkorian, the billionaire founder of the MGM Grand, has contributed $2 million to the foundation. Hornbuckle and his wife, Wendy, pledged a personal donation of $100,000 adding that he “expects our company’s senior leadership to join me in this support.”
In a statement, a Mars representative said: “The people at MGM have given Bruno Mars the rare opportunity to be able to continuously gig while he’s in the creative process of working on his next album.
“With the closures across Las Vegas, Bruno wanted to show his appreciation to the amazing employees who help make these shows possible in hopes that we’ll all be out of this situation and having fun together again very soon.”
Mars’ dates at Park Theater on April 20, 24, and 25 have been canceled. MGM Resorts is adhering to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s directive against hosting events with more than 50 people, canceling all entertainment through May 10. Mars has performed a recurring series at Park MGM since December 2016 and has no dates currently on the schedule.
Mars’ donation is directed to the MGM Resorts Foundation’s Employee Emergency Grant Fund & Children’s Medical Support Fund, which assists MGM employees and their families with short-term assistance during unexpected hardships and emergencies. The Grant Fund is also set up to also provide disaster relief assistance to furloughed or laid-off employees whose compensation is suspended or employment terminated because of the ongoing health scare.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.