Las Vegas shows sure know how to entertain the masses. From risqué adult revues to family-friendly performances, these popular shows lure in thousands each year for vacations, birthday parties, bachelorette parties, and more. But aside from being world-class entertainers, Las Vegas shows have more on their agenda than just comedy, acrobatics and sex. In fact, quite a few of them contribute their time and money to raise funds for the less fortunate right here in Las Vegas. Such was the case this past Monday night as Terry Fator and MGM came together to help raise funds for public schools.
The Mirage headliner Terry Fator and MGM Resorts international honored The Public Education Foundation (PEF) at a benefit performance of Terry Fator: Ventriloquism in Concert in Terry Fator Theater at The Mirage on Monday night. The evening began with none other than Las Vegas’ top celebrities and performers like Frank Caliendo, Recycled Percussion, New York-New York spokesperson Vinny, Frank Marino from Divas Las Vegas, Josh Strickland, Amy Davidson and Grandma Lee.
Phyllis A. James, Executive Vice President of special counsel, litigation/chief diversity officer of MGM Resorts International, and Judi Steele, President and Chief Professional Officer of PEF, were also in attendance. Entertainment for the benefit included America’s Got Talent Season 2 $1 million winner who used puppets to impersonate Garth Brooks, Elvis Presley and Sony & Cher. Also impersonating was Winston the Impersonating Turtle and Vicky the Cougar.
After the show, Fator thanked everyone for attending, with all proceeds going to The PEF, and James then presented a $350,000 check to Steele, who graciously accepted the donation and thanked Fator and MGM Resorts International for their incredible supports, which totals more than $1 million over the years, she said.
The Public Education Fund was founded in 1991 by Ernest A. Becker, Jr., Ann Lynch, Karen S. Galatz, former Governor Grant Sawyer, Dr. Lois Tarkanian, and Judi Steele. These members believed improving the public schools was too big of a task for a school district to undertake alone, so they took matters into their own hands and created PEF. The Board of Directors works to develop and implement school improvement strategies, create model programs, leverage resources, award grants and scholarships, and improve the standing public schools in the community, state and nation.
And speaking of charity Disney’s The Lion King, bone marrow center DKMS, Disney theatrical Productions and Mandalay Bay hosted a bone marrow transplant at Mandalay Bay Theater on Tuesday. The drive was going to help Shannon Tavarez, 11, who suffers from leukemia. Tavarez portrays young Nala in Broadway’s The Lion King. A bone marrow transplant may be Tavarez’s only chance at surviving. Stay tuned for more charity fundraiser’s in Las Vegas.