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Tivoli Village reindeer elegantly elicit donations

A stroll through the streets of Tivoli Village anytime through Jan. 31 will reveal an assortment of art-covered model reindeer at almost every corner.

“Each reindeer cost about $2,000, and we had them all shipped from overseas,” said Andrea Schubert, assistant general manager at Tivoli.

The exhibit is part of Tivoli Village’s inagural Adopt-A-Reindeer fundraiser, aimed at raising money for nonprofits and showcasing artists. Schubert and team members at Tivoli chose 13 artists to paint the reindeer however they chose in early December.

“We saw how other cities have positioned life-size cows and other animals on their street corners and thought that could be a cool concept for Tivoli,” Schubert said. “We wanted to make it bigger than that, though, to showcase local artists and raise money for charity …”

Each artist chose a nonprofit to benefit from the fundraiser. All donations made will go directly to the nonprofits each reindeer stands in honor of. The highest donor’s name will be featured on a plaque on the reindeer he or she chose, Schubert said.

One of the artists, 35-year-old Juan Muniz of southeast Las Vegas, wanted to emulate his pride for the city through his design. His reindeer is covered in pale pastel colors, paired with “Vegas Strong” along one side of the reindeer’s torso and a heart with wings on the other. He chose Jake Kielb’s Hockey Foundation to benefit from the fundraiser. The foundation provides financial aid and gear to make it more affordable for children interested in playing hockey. In September, it launched a sled hockey program for children with physical disabilitites.

“I thought it was really cool for kids who normally couldn’t get on ice to do something like this,” Muniz said. “I think what they’re doing for the kids is such an amazing thing. Anything that I can do to shine a light on them so more people are aware about it and know they exist, is what I’ll do.”

Twelve other artists participated, including 49-year-old Karen Jaikowski of Henderson, who chose Heaven Can Wait Animal Society.

“About a year or so ago my husband and I found three dogs stranded in a cage at a park,” Jaikowski said. “It was the middle of winter and they were screaming. We couldn’t find anyone to take them in, but Heaven Can Wait did. They rehabilitated them and got them adopted.”

Contact Mia Sims at msims@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0298. Follow @miasims___ on Twitter.

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