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Sheldon Adelson, Mark Davis honored at Wynn Las Vegas

Updated March 12, 2023 - 9:17 pm

Dr. Miriam Adelson invoked spirit into a gala honoring her late husband on Saturday night.

She did so by employing the Hebrew word “ruach.”

“Ruach means ‘spirit.’ Spirit is what marshals minds and hearts into noble action — here or elsewhere, today and tomorrow, from one year to the next,” Adelson said during the Adelson Education Campus Game Changers gala at Wynn Las Vegas’s Lafite Ballroom. “Spirit also means that after we are gone, we can inspire others to rise up and to emulate the good that we need to build on our achievements.”

Adelson was accepting the award for her late husband, Sheldon Adelson, the trailblazing luxury resort developer, philanthropist and political influencer who literally changed the skyline of Las Vegas.

Adelson was honored alongside Raiders owner Mark Davis at the event, hosted by Wynn President Marilyn Spiegel and her husband, the banker and investor Tom Spiegel. The gala was a benefit for the Adelson School in Las Vegas, the only pre-kindergarten through grade 12 Jewish community school in Nevada.

About 1,200 invited guests turned out to honor Adelson and Davis in a room decked out in Raiders photos, memorabilia, the team’s three Super Bowl trophies and the classic pirate logo. Vegas artist Ricardo Barraza painted on-site, starting and finishing a portrait of a young Sheldon Adelson, displayed throughout the night.

Davis said Adelson reminded him very much of his father, the late NFL legend and Raiders owner Al Davis.

“They were both focused, single-minded men,” Davis said during the reception before the gala. “They were also both self-made men, and made their mark because they followed what they believed in.”

Miriam Adelson recalled Sheldon Adelson’s early years, at age 12 getting up at dawn to sell newspapers. “He did so well that he was giving his parents 25 cents a week, the equivalent of $5 today, to help cover rent, rather than getting an allowance from them.”

It was fitting that the Davis and Adelson families would be honored in Las Vegas. Adelson forged the first partnership with Davis in 2016, to set the table for the team’s move to Las Vegas four years later.

Davis recalled that Raider alum Napoleon McCallum originally led him to Adelson. McCallum worked for Las Vegas Sands at the time. Davis attended an event honoring the Raider great, who asked Davis what was happening with the team, toiling in Oakland at the time.

“I said, “Well, we are really working on trying to get the stadium for the Raiders,’ ” Davis said. “And he said, ‘Why don’t you come to Las Vegas? My boss will build you a stadium. I said, ‘OK, I’ve heard this before. Who’s your boss? He said, ‘Sheldon Adelson.’ ”

Davis did some homework.

“I went back and looked him up, and found out who Sheldon was,” Davis said, drawing a laugh from the crowd. Years later, the NFL has a team in Las Vegas. The Super Bowl is coming to Allegiant Stadium. And Adelson and Davis are forever joined in Raiders and Vegas history.

Our starting lineup

Tom Flores, Jim Plunkett, Jim Otto, Fred Biletnikoff, Marcus Allen, Charles Woodson George Atkinson, Ted Hendricks and Raymond Chester were among the Raiders alumni in attendance. Pro Bowl punter A.J. Cole, head coach Josh McDaniels and General Manager Dave Ziegler also represented.

Otto wore his bright-yellow Pro Football Hall of Fame jacket, keeping with the night’s “festive cocktail” dress code.

Glazing a trail

Pinkbox Doughnuts opened its ninth outpost Saturday morning, in North Las Vegas. It took nearly three minutes to walk the line of folks waiting for fresh donuts at the opening event. I know because I took that walk. It never ceases to amaze how the masses coalesce for frosted confections.

This is the company’s first North Las Vegas store, and also its first ground-up construction project, running into the millions. And there will be more doughnut delights coming this year.

Pinkbox Chief Business Officer Michael Crandall said the company’s next location, at the Plaza, is scheduled to open the first week of May. After that, the company is partnering with Golden Gaming for a shop at Edgewater hotel-casino in Laughlin. Then, look for expansion into Golden Gaming’s Pahrump Nugget. There are plans to go into Boca Park, too.

The company is on track to double its size this year.

“We started as kind of a passion project as a business,” said Crandall, also a top executive in Steven Siegel’s Siegel Group company, which owns Siegel Suites. Siegel’s wife, Judith Perez Siegel, actually owns Pinkbox. “But we see Pinkbox, in the future, being the biggest business we have, of all of them.”

What works in Vegas

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons at Westgate’s International Theater. Valli wiped out the place, in terms of ticket sales and with his greatest-hits performance, on Friday and Saturday. Hotel officials want him back, this year.

Cool Hang Alert

Column fave The Hot Mops, led by guitar great John Wedemeyer, are back at Gatsby’s Supper Club at Gambit Henderson at 8 p.m. Wednesday. This is the a deep dive into true blues, music fans. Go to AEGroupLV.com for intel.

The Review-Journal is owned by the Adelson family, founders of the Adelson Educational Campus.

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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