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Sammy Hagar steps up and plugs in for Power of Love

Updated January 19, 2023 - 8:57 am

This effort might one day inspire a cable series, “Better Call Sammy.”

It’s Sammy Hagar heeding the call for rock ‘n’ roll at the 26th annual Keep Memory Alive Power of Love gala, set for Feb. 18 at MGM Grand Garden. In about two weeks, the Red Rocker has assembled quite a lineup.

John Mayer, Alice Cooper, Michael McDonald, Rick Springfield, Paula Abdul, Sam Moore of iconic R&B band Sam & Dave, Chad Kroeger of Nickleback and Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon are the recording stars set to appear. Headlining comic Nikki Glaser, herself sort of a rock star, is also on the bill. Additional stars and surprise appearances are also planned for the event.

With this year’s original honoree Steven Tyler canceling his participation, citing health reasons, organizers turned to Hagar and his legendary band-building skills.

Hagar said he was ready pounce when Team Ruvo — Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health co-founders Larry and Camille Ruvo — made the call.

“What Larry and Camille have accomplished through Keep Memory Alive is nothing short of miraculous, so when they reached out to me a few weeks ago and they needed help I only had two questions, where and when. I started making calls and before I knew it, I’d rounded up an incredible group of friends,” Hagar said via text Wednesday. “I mean, it’s just unbelievable that these guys are all coming together to help. It may be last minute, but this is going to be the best Power of Love show, yet.

“Plus, we are all friends and we love to play together. We’re going to have a blast and we are going to raise a lot of money to help a lot of people.”

The rescue effort is a major relief to event organizers, naturally.

“I feel great,” Larry Ruvo said Wednesday. “A lot better than I did two weeks ago.”

The late Raiders quarterback, beloved broadcaster and native Las Vegan David Humm; and John Paul Mitchell Systems co-founder John Paul DeJoria are the night’s honorees. Celeb chefs Tal Ronnen and Wolfgang Puck lead the culinary team, creating a multicourse dinner.

Also set to appear is Maria Shriver, founder of The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement (WAM). Shriver is a strategic advisor for Women’s Health and Alzheimer’s at Cleveland Clinic. The event coincides with the first anniversary of WAM formally joining Cleveland Clinic to advance gender-based research, treatment, prevention and education of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases in women.

The event will be filled with extravagant live-and silent-auction prizes. As always, the event is the leading fundraiser for Keep Memory Alive, the Ruvo Center’s philanthropic division. Since the event started 25 years ago, the Power of Love has raised tens of millions in the fight against neurological diseases and conditions. Tables are still available; information about the gala is at keepmemoryalive.org.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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