While playing games, riding carnival rides, listening to concerts or holding on for dear life on a mechanical bull, residents can help the Lili Claire Foundation and support children with neurogentic disorders at Nevada West Fest, which is slated to return Wednesday through Sunday at the Henderson Pavilion, 200 S. Green Valley Parkway.
Keith and Leslie Resnick, founders of the organization, lost their daughter Lili Claire in 1998 when she was 5 months old. She had been diagnosed with a neurogentic disorder called Williams s yndrome and suffered from numerous complications.
"We thought the best way to honor her memory would be to form the foundation," Keith Resnick said. "Our mission now is to help any child born with any neurogentic disorder. We do this all free of charge."
The foundation provides resources, support and sometimes even hope for families that have children with disorders including Down syndrome, A ngelman syndrome and fetal alcohol syndrome.
"It is a support system for the families," said Annie Sliman, who does marketing for the Lili Claire Foundation.
Services can include anything from diagnostic and genetic clinics to providing access to experts and doctors. The festival is a way to raise money to offer the holistic support at no cost to families.
Admission to Nevada Wild Fest is $9 . Carnival tickets start at $1.25 per ticket and go up to $36 for 40 tickets, or purchase all-day pass for $20 in advance or $30 at the gate.
Holly Madison, known for "PEEPSHOW" at Planet Hollywood and her reality show "Holly’s World," is expected to open the entertainment Wednesday night, welcoming comedian George Wallace, magician Rick Thomas and Spanish guitarist Esteban.
Other free performances include Kevin Cadogan of Third Eye Blind on Thursday . Singer Juice Newton and country band Against the Grain are scheduled to perform Friday.
In addition to the free performances, the scheduled entertainment includes paid concerts featuring musician B. Howard Saturday , and Latin band Los Super Reyes Sunday. Tickets for those shows are $20 each.
Along with the 30 carnival rides, two haunted houses are expected to be open. Tickets are $10 for admission to both haunted houses.
Last year, about 30,000 people visited Nevada Wild Fest, Resnick said.
"We hope to double that this year," Resnick said.
Resnick said Madison is doing more than hosting the opening night. She is partnering with the Lili Claire Foundation to become the face of an anti-fetal alcohol syndrome campaign.
"There is only one neurogenetic disease that is preventable — fetal alcohol syndrome," Resnick said. "It is OK to party and have a good time. But when you’re pregnant, you cannot drink."
Through the Nevada West Fest, the foundation strives to raise enough money to fund the medical expenses of the 2012 medical genetic clinics. The clinics provide diagnostic evaluation, treatment, medical advice and consultation for individuals with conditions at the Lili Claire Foundation office, 522 E. Twain Ave.
Because of funding, Resnick said, hundreds of children are waiting to see the medical team for services.
"As a father, I find that unacceptable," Resnick said.
Resnick said the faster children can get diagnosed and receive behavioral therapies and support, the better off they are.
As of now, Sliman said the foundation can offer only two genetics clinics a week but would like to increase that to five or six.
In the mean time, the organization keeps fundraising and hopes to expand. Resnick already is planning for next year’s event.
"We want to be longer and larger," Resnick said. "We already have big plans in the works. Nevada Wild Fest 2012 is going to be exciting and exceptional."
The festival is open from 3 to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.
For more information on the festival, visit nevadawildfest.com. For more information on the foundation, visit liliclaire foundation.org.
Contact Henderson/Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at email@example.com or 387-5201.