Candlelighters grant awards at Evening of Hope gala

Eight-year-old Taylor Hammond received the 2015 Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada Shine Award during the nonprofit group’s benefit March 6 at the World Market Center.

Taylor has a rare hybrid form of T-cell and B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and is on a waiting list for a lifesaving bone marrow transplant. He was honored for his courage, strength and spirit.

Along with Taylor, Children’s Specialty Center of Nevada was honored with a Shine Award for its unwavering commitment to advance cures and means of prevention for pediatric cancer.

Candlelighters board Chairman Rick McGough presented the awards.

The organization is a nonprofit that provides support and services for families of children, from birth to 21 years old, diagnosed with cancer.

Programs include patient advocacy, emergency assistance, travel for treatment, family counseling, survivor scholarships, and other programs and services such as hospital visits, toy boxes for outpatient clinics, financial aid guidance, bereavement support and much more.

Titled An Evening of Hope, the event was an epicurean-style experience featuring complimentary cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres.Buffets circled the Worldview Room’s vast perimeter.

Participating restaurants and specialty providers included: Capital Grille, which served sirloin sandwiches; Paymon’s Mediterranean Grill, rice pudding and tiramisu; Del Frisco Double Eagle Steakhouse, shrimp cocktails and tenderloin sliders; DW Bistro, New York pizza and Jamaican-style pasta; Dom DeMarco’s, pizza and cannolis; Hash House a Go Go, crabcakes and meatloaf sliders; John Cutter, tuna; Toro’s Cantina, ceviche tostadas; Sedona, blue lump crabcakes with spicy curry; and Mundo, beef taquitos and chicken and steak kebabs.

A big hit was the lovely assortment of Sprinkles cupcakes from its store at The Linq, and Popcorn Girl gave out samples of its numerous flavored gourmet popcorn.

Beverages were by the Wirtz Beverage Group.

Guitarist John Columbo provided the evening’s musical entertainment.

Another highlight was the Children’s Art Gallery, which featured photography and modern art for sale created by Candlelighters kids of all ages.

A silent and live auction also took place.

During the program, Melissa Cipriano, Candlelighters executive director, spoke of the organization’s 36-year history of providing services in Nevada.

Funds raised during the Evening of Hope will be used to help the organization provide more than 25 programs and services to Nevada’s diagnosed children and their families.

Supporters attending were Nicole and Brian Hammond, Annmarie Kent, Sherry Swensk and Cort Bentz, Laurie Sabol, Sydney Hamilton, Gail Boyle, Karen and Greg McKinley, Tanna Prince, Lisa and Mike Habighorst, Annett Logan, Jonathan Bernstein, Stacey Wedding, Laurie and Don Purdue, Alison McCarthy, George Harris, Lisa Santwer, Robert Torres, Hannah Brook, John L. Smith and daughter, Amelia, and Mark McKinley and daughter, Melissa Cook.

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