Reception brings out stars to help missing children

Celebrities are part of the attraction of the annual Canon Appreciation Reception and Celebrity Golf Tournament, held each January in Las Vegas to benefit the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The red carpet reception took place Jan. 7 at the Bellagio Grand Ballroom. Seen among the entertainers and sports figures were Kurt Bevacqua, Robert Hays, Joe Regalbuto, Rollie Fingers, Paula Trickey, Tommy John, Chris Rich, Nat Moore, Adrian Zmed, Alice Cooper, Zowie Bowie, Murray SawChuck, Chloe Crawford, Rich Little, Laurie Caceres, Vinny Cimino, Philip Friedman, Chris McDonald and Roger Clemens.

Entertainment celebrities were announced by Jaki Baskow of Baskow and Associates. Baskow has produced this star-studded event for the past nine years.

Following their introduction, celebrities were interviewed by Stacey Gualandi, former KTNV-TV, Channel 13, reporter, before they joined the approximate 1,500 other guests in the ballroom.

John Arnos, representing Canon U.S.A., introduced the event’s master of ceremonies, actor Richard Burgi, and John Walsh, co-founder of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. They spoke about how Canon’s technologies and products are used to protect children.

The Canon4Kids program, a partnership between Canon U.S.A. and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, donates thousands of digital cameras, fax machines, printers and scanners to help law enforcement agencies and the nonprofit center disseminate photos and information about missing children.

The partnership also produces public service announcements with missing children’s photos and gives parents tips for taking and maintaining updated photos of their children.

Walsh also spoke of his weekly investigative/documentary TV series, “The Hunt,” which airs on CNN.

The dinner featured seafood, antipasto, salads and pasta stations offering lobster ravioli, carving stations of beef tenderloin, and chicken followed by a medley of desserts and an ice cream sundae station.

A special guest was Canon U.S.A. President and CEO Joe Adachi.

Among the guests were Arnos’ family, including his wife, Sheila, daughter and son-in-law Mary Ann and John O’Farrell, and son, John Arnos.

Other guests participating in the event’s silent and live auctions were Charli and Dave Carter, Lynn and Craig Garlock, Barbara Lee and Bruce Woollen, Peggy Sanders, John Massey, Ray Packowski and Trish Williamson.

Christian Kolberg conducted the live auction for packages that included a barbecue dinner by Ferraro’s Restaurant for the bid of $1,500; a Segway for $2,000; bidder’s choice of a week provided by International Resorts for $1,500; a 22-seat box at Yankee Stadium for $4,000; a seven-night vacation divided between the islands of Hawaii and Kauai for $3,000; and two autographed guitars plus guitar lessons by Alice Cooper that sold twice for $3,000.

Headliner Frankie Moreno and his band provided the evening’s entertainment.

A celebrity golf tournament took place the next day at Tournament Players Club. Both events helped Canon raise nearly $400,000 to benefit the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s mission of bringing missing children home. During the past 16 years, this event has raised more than $5 million to benefit the organization.

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