Ronald McDonald House honors Southwest Airlines at gala

Southwest Airlines was honored at the Ronald McDonald House of Greater Las Vegas’ 10th anniversary gala Oct. 25 at the Rio. Since 1985, Ronald McDonald Houses across the country have been the primary corporate charity for Southwest Airlines. Southwest employees regularly host dinners at McDonald Houses in cities served by Southwest, as well as a golf tournament in Phoenix and Dallas.

Today, there are 280 Ronald McDonald Houses in 53 countries. The Las Vegas Ronald McDonald House, built in 1998, provides a haven for families with sick children visiting Las Vegas, aiding an average of 400 families per year. The gala’s anniversary reception offered a silent auction and hosted bar compliments of e-gads! (which stands for electric gizmos and display systems).

A highlight of the reception was a presentation of a check from entertainer Scott “Carrot Top” Thompson to Janet Linder, Ronald McDonald House executive director. Guests, including Ann Lynch, Kathy Mahon, Beverly and Mike Mykisen, Dorothy Gallo, Fran Edlovitch, Steve Linder, Claire Kurlinski and Donell Bullock, field relations manager of Ronald McDonald House Charities, were seated for a filet mignon and lobster dinner before the award ceremony.

House Hero Awards were given to George Balaban of Desert Cab, who has donated cab rides for Ronald McDonald House families for the past decade. Also receiving a Hero Award was Scott Pollock of Aunt Hattie’s Bread. Every Monday, Pollock delivers 70 loaves of bread for families in the hospital lunch program, providing 110 sack lunches daily to families staying with their children at Sunrise Hospital and University Medical Center.

Becky Terzotis was the recipient of the Legacy Volunteer Award. Becky and her late husband, Al Terzotis, have volunteered every Wednesday at the Ronald McDonald House since it was built. Becky continues to help at all McDonald fundraising events. Receiving the award on behalf of Southwest Airlines were Roz Santangelo, vice president, and Linda Gehrig, customer service supervisor.

Following a McDonald House video presentation, Christian Kolberg conducted a live auction for five unique packages, including a Thomas Kincaid painting, a Tahitian pearl necklace, a VIP trip for four to Sea World in Orlando, Fla., a week at a Big Sky Montana Ski Resort, and the highest bid was for a week roundup for two on a Colorado Cattle Company Ranch. Winning two Southwest Airline tickets to wherever Southwest flies was Marshall Fenn.

More guests enjoying the event were Jesus Priego, Bill Wong, Katie and Michael Ryan, Donna and Jeff Davidson, Todd Sklamberg, Shannon Hall, Bob Day, and board of trustees president Bill McCarthy. Dancing to Harbor Lights Band concluded the evening.


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