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Governor’s Black-Tie Invitational

The seventh annual Governor’s Black-Tie Invitational, a three-day fundraiser at Southern Highlands Golf Club, opened with a party March 29 to honor Andre Agassi as the Governor’s Philanthropist of the Year.

Agassi was recognized for his dedication to helping children through his financial support and leadership.

The tennis star was unable to attend the event, so Gov. Jim Gibbons and Garry Goett presented the crystal award and $100,000 check for the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy to Perry Rogers, chairman of the Andre Agassi Foundation.

Agencies that benefited from the invitational included the Assistance League of Las Vegas, Candlelighters for Childhood Cancer, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Opportunity Village, Project Sunshine, Epicurean Club, Shade Tree shelter and the Southern Highlands Scholarship and Assistance Fund.

The opening gala also featured gourmet fare from the Epicurean Club, silent and live auctions, and live entertainment.

Gibbons and first lady Dawn Gibbons joined the event’s co-chairs Goett, Nick Mamula, Bernie Schiappa, Stephanie Springel and Kelly Brockman in greeting guests Kelly and Brian Iriye, Jeanette and Pat Byrne, Phyllis and Bob Cayne, David Van Kalsbe, Bob Brown, Irais and Robert Kolesar, Heidi and Larry Carnelli, Brenda Dizon, Mike Darley, Rochelle and Farid Matraki, and Justice William Maupin.

Libation and cooking stations were set up throughout the reception. The Ritz-Carlton’s chef Truman Jones offered watermelon gelee and miniature lobster sandwiches; Charlie Palmer’s Aureole served duck with truffle cabbage and ahi tuna lollipops; and Terrence Redihan, executive chef at Southern Highlands, offered braised baby lamb chops and lobster tails. The Four Seasons prepared panzarotti with white truffle aioli and cannelloni with foie gras and kumquats.

Robby LeBlanc provided classical guitar music.

At the appointed hour, guests entered a large white tent on the golf course for a formal dinner.

The dinner’s master of ceremonies was Jack Sheehan. Entertainment was by the Dueling Pianos.

The dinner’s first course of lobster salad was prepared by chefs Eric Damidot and Kurtess Mortensen of Paris Las Vegas and Bally’s, respectively. Caesars Palace executive chef Jeff Walter’s entree was New York strip steak with merlot reduction and Atlantic halibut with confit of salsify and porcini mushrooms. Dessert was chocolate passion mousse by Rio’s pastry chef Randy Sebastian.

Christian Kolberg conducted the live auction for 14 packages. The largest bid was for a new CL550 Mercedes-Benz with sports package that was sold twice for $130,000 each.

The Governor’s Invitational continued the next day with a breakfast buffet, photos with Gibbons, ladies’ spa day and shotgun start for the golf tournament. The evening’s highlight was a barbecue and private concert with Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh and The Eagles in the tent.

Saturday was a ladies’ luncheon and fashion show hosted by Neiman Marcus at Fashion Show mall, followed by cocktails and the golf awards reception.

Seen among the throng of attendees were Denise and Bill Martin, Darilyne Goett, Rollie Fingers, Carol Sheehan, Patty and Mike Morrissey, John Betham, Jim Hammer, Nancy and Jason Jones, Susan and Leonard Mardian, Donna and Chuck Ruthe, Stacia and Michael Lemke, and Linda and Billy McCoy.

Here’s to the guys: Saks Fifth Avenue sponsored its fourth annual Vegas Dozen 2007: The Men We Love and Why We Love Them on March 28.

Twelve men from various backgrounds and professions who exemplify personal and professional commitment to the community received the Vegas Dozen Award.

The event benefited Nevada Cancer Institute.

Mari Landers, vice president and general manager of the local Saks Fifth Avenue, introduced the mistress of ceremonies Phyllis McGuire.

The winners modeled designer wardrobes provided by Saks.

Honorees included Gary Ackerman, Keith Boman, Tony Curtis, Brad Friedmutter, Richard Lee, Art Marshall, Michael Morton, Wolfgang Puck, Felix Rappaport, John Ritter, Steve Schorr and Dan Towbin.

Entertainment was by a group called Mosaic.

Wild Truffles presented an elaborate catered reception following the presentations.

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