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Ex-local businessman goes to bat for vendors during shutdown

Updated March 21, 2020 - 3:51 pm

An announcement Thursday that the Golden Knights would contribute a minimum of $500,000 to assist the NHL team’s part-time employees and those at T-Mobile Arena along with third-party vendors and service providers was manna from heaven for those who truly need an assist during the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s something Matt Young had been working on since the previous Friday when he started a GoFundMe page called Tip-It-Forward to support the sports vendors.

Young sold Event Management Solutions, a subcontracting company that provides vendors for Knights and Las Vegas Aviators games and other Las Vegas sporting events, in 2018. He still considers many of the local beer vendors — EMS’ specialty — as friends.

While he wasn’t successful in raising a lot of money through GoFundMe, he did create awareness in their situation in a story that appeared on the Sports Illustrated website.

“Most of the beer vendors around the country are at the absolute low end of the economic spectrum,” Young, 42, said during a telephone conversation.

“Initially I jumped into this debate about two, three weeks ago, basically letting all the vendors know, hey, start working all the events you can, start lining up outside work, that this (virus shutdown) is gonna happen.”

In addition to the GoFundMe account, Young created a Facebook page called Stadium Vendors United to tell their story.

“I wanted the current subcontract companies to focus on the survival of their businesses,” Young said. “The mission I’m trying to accomplish is taking care of vendors during the shutdown, but also making sure they have a job to go back to after this is over and these stadiums reopen.”

Around the horn

* Reigning Cup Series champion Kyle Busch and fellow Las Vegan and Xfinity Series competitor Noah Gragson will be driving in Sunday’s eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational virtual reality stock car race. Other NASCAR stars scheduled to compete include Dale Earnhardt Jr., Clint Bowyer, Chase Elliott, Erik Jones, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson and recent Las Vegas Motor Speedway race winner Joey Logano.

FX1 will televise beginning at 10:30 a.m.

* Speaking of NASCAR, the Jimmy John’s sandwich shops at 9435 West Tropicana Ave. and 10870 West Charleston Blvd. owned by Fox pit road reporter Jamie Little and husband (and Indy 500 crewman) Cody Selman will be offering free delivery during the coronavirus threat. She said in a text message that all Las Vegas area Jimmy John’s are now offering free delivery.

* Wednesday post on Northern Iowa’s basketball Twitter account: “On this date in 2010 Ali Farokmanesh scored 17 points, shooting 5-9 behind the arch (sic), had three assists, and two rebounds in an NCAA tournament first-round win over UNLV!”

But UNLV did not hold a grudge. Nine months later it hired Cindy Frederick, Farokmanesh’s mother, to coach its volleyball team.

* As good as Pete Alonso was on the field for the Las Vegas 51s and then the Mets when he hit 53 home runs as a rookie last season, he has been even better off it.

Alonso this week reached out to an 82-year-old Mets’ fan recently diagnosed with terminal cancer and fearful that she might not get to see another Mets game because of the coronavirus pandemic. His personal video made lifelong Mets fan Kathleen Selig cry tears of joy.

* After Iran Barkley upset Thomas Hearns to win the World Boxing Council middleweight title in 1988, two memories of the news conference at the Las Vegas Hilton the next day still resonate: The first is of actress Bo Derek, who was in attendance. And then somebody ran in from the parking lot and said Roger Mayweather had wrecked his car on Joe W. Brown Drive.

Mayweather, a former two-time world champion and uncle of Floyd Mayweather Jr., died Tuesday at age 58. Maybe he wasn’t such an excellent driver. But like most of the other men in his family, he sure could fight.

0:01

A tip last weekend said a billiards tournament featuring players from overseas was proceeding as scheduled in Las Vegas, and perhaps that wasn’t such a good idea even before social distancing went into effect during the coronavirus threat. The concern was legitimate, and perhaps there was a billiards tournament happening somewhere in Las Vegas last weekend.

But the tip said this one was at the Riviera, which was imploded in 2016.

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

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