Denise Truscello/ WireImage/ DeniseTruscello.net
Monday, June 15, 2015|7:02 p.m.
2015 Keep Memory Alive Gala
It was such an utmost, star-studded night of glamour, glamour, wining, dining and megabucks that it may never be duplicated ever once again in Las Vegas.
Stars and VIPs included honoree Andrea Bocelli and his other half, Veronica; Caesars headliner Celine Dion, who flew in from Boston to duet with him; starlet Sharon Stone with Quincy Jones, birthday kid Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn; Westgate Las Vegas headliner Suzanne Somers and husband Alan Hamel; and 2014 honorees Gloria and Emilio Estefan.
Likewise: singer Martina McBride; vocalist Robin Thicke; vocalist George Benson; “The Sopranos” star Steve Schirripa and his other half, Laura; vocalist Clint Holmes and his other half, Kelly Clinton-Holmes; TELEVISION personality Holly Madison and Pasquale Rotella; and Stratosphere headliner Claire Sinclair (“Pin Up”).
It was the 19th yearly “Power of Love” fundraising gala for our Keep Memory Alive charity that moneys the work and research of our downtown Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health that battles Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative brain conditions. Our thanks to Richard Corey for his video of the arrivals carpet.
MGM Grand Garden Arena was amazingly transformed from a sports and performance place into a glittering and magical fairytale for 1,500 guests. Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis and Wolfgang Puck’s chefs served a fantastic four-course supper with 150 sommeliers putting classic Dom Perignon and wines. Giada, after all the effort in the household kitchen, introduced George Benson onstage.
Tunes by Gloria, Martina and Robin were psychological and moving, however the night came from Italian superstar Andrea, who was introduced by Sharon (“Basic Impulse,” “Gambling establishment”). He first sang “Voglio Vivere Cosi,” followed by “Mamma” in Italian with an orchestra of 40 and your house band of 10 others led by conductor William Ross and musical director Greg Phillinganes.
Andrea in a homage to Las Vegas and Elvis Presley switched to English for “Cannot Assist Falling In Love” and afterwards ended his four-song set with longtime fan favorite “Con Te Partiro.”
He then welcomed Celine to the phase, and together they sang “The Prayer.” It was her first time singing in public because the yearlong absence from her Colosseum reveals to take care of husband Rene Angelil and his ruthless fight with throat cancer.
She ‘d flown in from his bedside at Massachusetts General Healthcare facility in Boston and after the performance flew directly back to him. “Rene desired me to come, and, after making the pledge to go to, I wasn’t going to let anybody down” she said. Our special Q+A with Celine was posted a few hours ago.
Celine’s voice was in excellent kind: incredible, angelic and wonderful. It was as if the duo had never ever stopped vocal singing together. No lyric sheets or music in front of them. No TelePrompTer with the words. Everyone in the arena, from servers to guests, was enthralled and teary-eyed throughout the cheers and standing ovation.
“Just enchanting, overwhelming and beyond stunning,” KMA founder Larry Ruvo informed me. Larry also made a toast to Siegfried commemorating his 75th birthday at the gala. It was such an emotional night that authorities at NV Energy made a contribution of $1.3 million. However the cash didn’t stop there.
I had the honor and advantage to serve as the voice of KMA as MC of the auction. Twelve couples each shelled out $200,000 each for an Italian tour by Andrea with a visit to the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel and a show at his house. Tony Bennett, Reba McEntire and The Band Perry are just a few of the stars also on the trip.
George Clooney’s invitation with new other half, Amal, his Casamigos tequila partner Rande Gerber and spouse cover girl Cindy Crawford to a celebration in London was acquired after perky bidding by two people for $100,000 each. 2 others paid $45,000 each for Andre Agassi’s personal tennis lessons, and one week at David Copperfield’s holiday paradise in the Bahamas cost $100,000.
4 days at Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island resort in the Caribbean generated $45,000. A fishing trip with star chef Michael Mina offered twice for $35,000 each; a San Diego Chargers game included $60,000; and luxury boat trips in the Mediterranean, Australia and British Columbia totaled up another $360,000.
An uncommon barrel of cognac with 250 personalized decanters for the golden liquid inside cost $200,000. Designer Frank Gehry contributed a youngster’s playhouse, which sold for $225,000; two sets of tickets to the winter Victoria’s Secret fashion show sold for $40,000 each; and Muhammad Ali’s boxing trunks from his Joe Frazier “Thrilla in Manilla” fight cost $120,000.
A stunning, custom-designed, 57.30-carat locket contributed by the Lynne Ruffin-Smith charitable foundation and its president, R.T. Smith, raised $80,000. In all, it was $4.4 million from the live auction, all which goes to the charity.
Earnings from additional silent auction items, ticket sales and individual table pledges of $85,000 to purchase a red flashing heart pin are still being totaled today and ought to all make it among the most successful fundraiser ever in Las Vegas.
Cleveland Center’s Dr. Toby Cosgrove commented: “We are dealing with among the best health crises in contemporary time. There are no cures. There are couple of good treatments. More and more Americans are aging into the high-risk years for activity disorders and amnesia. Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and age-related dementia are rising to all-time highs.
“These are conditions that rob individuals of independence and identity. We are supplying hope and establisheding an enormous, full-scale effort to discover new treatments and cures. Here in Las Vegas, the Brain Health Center is offering the largest group of medical trials presently underway anywhere.”
KMA founder Larry Ruvo summed up: “Given that our opening a short 5 1/2 years earlier, our exceptional programs have actually permanently changed the course of the terrible brain diseases for the world. It’s all happened right here in Las Vegas, so this time what occurs in Vegas benefits the remainder of the world.
“We have the biggest neuroscience footprint in America. We have the No. 1 clinical-trial programs in America. We are recognized as one of the leading brain university hospital in America.”
Now today, with no time for rest, prepares get underway at the very first meeting Wednesday for next year’s star-studded, 20th yearly fundraiser. This one, already hailed as the very best yet, will certainly take some whipping, however Las Vegas can– and will– do it!
Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich & & Famous” popularity has actually been a journalist for more than 50 years and has actually spent the previous 15 years providing readers the within scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum play area.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/ Robin_Leach.
Follow Las Vegas Sun Entertainment + Luxury Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/ VDLXEditorDon.
MGM Grand Garden Arena The MGM Grand Garden Arena is the home of concerts, championship boxing and premier sporting and unique occasions. The Arena provides comfortable seating for as numerous as 16,800 individuals with excellent lines of sight and modern acoustics, lighting and noise. The Grand Garden Box office is open from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily.
3799 Las Vegas Blvd South Las Vegas, NV 89109
MGM Grand Hotel and Casino
MGM Grand, a AAA Four Diamond resort, offers 5,044 spaces and suites.
MGM Grand features KÀ by Cirque du Soleil; Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club; and world-class entertainment at the Grand Garden Arena and Hollywood Theatre.
The resort mades available trademark restaurants by celebrity chefs including Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak, Emeril Lagasse’s New Orleans Fish Home, Wolfgang Puck’s Bar & & Grill and Michelin three star and Forbes 5 Star dining establishment, Joël Robuchon.
As part of its ongoing “Grand Remodelling,” MGM Grand has actually renovated all rooms and suites in its major tower and is adding a number of new experiences to its lineup consisting of Hakkasan Las Vegas Restaurant and Club, a new upscale dining/nightlife concept (being available in April 2013).
MGM Grand likewise includes a state-of-the-art, non-smoking conference center, the Grand Medspa, Cristophe Hair salon, “CSI: The Experience” and a welcoming swimming pool complex including the alluring daylife of Wet Republic.
High end cottages include The Mansion, a special hotel within the hotel; the glamorous two-story SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand; and The Signature at MGM Grand, a luxury all-suite, non-gaming hotel situated surrounding to the major resort.
3799 Las Vegas Boulevard S. Las Vegas, NV 89109