Jud Wilhite is a guy who can call on an Osmond and a three-time Super Bowl champ and get quick results.
He also happens to be pastor at Central Church in Las Vegas.
“I started emailing around, contacting everyone I could think of, and Marie Osmond was one of the first to respond,” Wilhite says. “Then (former New England Patriots star) Tedy Bruschi got back to me, and he’s in, too.”
By then, Wilhite says, “I was dancing around the room.”
The pastor at Central Church reached out to the masses for “A Night of Hope” hourlong broadcast at 7 p.m. Saturday to benefit the Hope For The City. Chris Harrison (“The Bachelor,” “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”) and Giuliana Rancic (E! News) co-host. The show is a rarity in that it will be broadcast on all Las Vegas network affiliates (KLAS Channel 8, KSNV Channel 3, KVVU Channel 5), along with KCYE 102.7-FM Coyote Country. The show also will live-stream at hopeforthecity.tv.
Famous folks donating performances or video shout-outs include Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden, Raiders and Vegas Golden Knights players, Carrot Top, OneRepublic, Kane Brown, Lee Brice, Lil Jon, Spencer Tillman, Jason Giambi, Brian “Head” Welch and Montell Jordan.
The broadcast is a fundraiser (and also a recruiting effort for volunteers) for Hope For The City, the nonprofit organization that is providing food for Las Vegas-area residents who have lost income during COVID-19. The operation has furnished more than 3 million pounds of food over the past two months.
Hope volunteers, surpassing 1,000 during peak times, have operated more than 115 pantries across the valley, running different locations every day in rotation (hit the Hope For The City website for a full list of when and where to find the centers).
Wilhite says that during the pandemic, Hope has provided as much food in a single week as it delivers in an entire year.
“These are our friends and neighbors,” says Wilhite, who usually starts his day on the food line at 7 a.m. “Some of them have never asked for anything in their lives. But if you have a choice between paying for bills or food, get the food. There is no space for shame right now.”
Tenors in the rocks
The Tenors of Rock went off-road for their upcoming “Rock The ’Rona” video series. The Sin City Theater at Planet Hollywood headliners hit an undisclosed location in the desert for a 20-minute video performance. The edited piece posts 6 p.m. Thursday on the Tenors’ Facebook Live and Instagram Live pages.
The guys are easily distanced from each other, especially since burly, kilted singer Jimmy Denning was presumed COVID-19 positive in March and April. Bandmate Dan Schumann has been non-COVID ill, so he stayed home (a photo of him was set up during the recording). Jonathan Williams, Dai Richards, Tim Sorbs and Chris Cicchino filled out the roster.
“We came up with the idea of taking a case of beer into the desert to see what happens,” Denning says. “We’re hoping to do one of these each week or so.”
Producers from “Good Morning America” learned a little about Las Vegas’s close-knit community on Tuesday.
“The Socially Distant Show” online ensemble showcase is featured in an upcoming “GMA” segment. Look for it next Wednesday. Producers set up correspondent Kayna Whitworth for interviews with series co-producers Devon Alarid and Nina Kane.
Whitworth then said the crew was off to interview Clark County Commission Chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick.
Kane then casually said, “Oh, she’s my aunt.” Which is true, and also good TV.
Virtual Cool Hang Alert
Find The Hot Club of Las Vegas on the @HotClubLV Instagram and band’s Facebook pages. Mundo Juillerat, Noybel Gorgoy, Johnny Miles and Chris Davis perform expertly, as always. I found these guys about six years ago at the Lounge at the Palms, and most recently in a brunch residency at NoMad Bar. The band has four videos up, and some cool stuff to come (say insiders). Check ’em out.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats! podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.