LAS VEGAS - Down Syndrome Organization of Southern Nevada (DSOSN), the leading nonprofit organization and primary source of education, information, and support for Southern Nevada persons and families with Down syndrome and other Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) will celebrate its 35th anniversary at this year’s Festival of Trees and Lights Gala beginning at 5:30 p.m. on November 19 at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino.
The annual holiday tradition, which was started by DSOSN’s founding members in 1988, brings the Las Vegas community, DSOSN members and families together for a night of giving and celebration. Exquisitely decorated Christmas trees, wreaths, menorahs, and baskets will decorate the Westgate’s Ballroom and be available for bidding through an online auction and will be on display for a special family viewing event.
“Being able to celebrate DSOSN’s 35th anniversary at this year’s Festival of Trees and Lights Gala is exciting,” said Barbara Desrochers, Event Chair. “Not only are we tapping into our history by bringing the gala back to the Las Vegas Strip, but we’re giving families the opportunity to join us for a Special Viewing Event (from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the main ballroom) to get in the holiday spirit with photo opportunities with Santa and Mrs. Claus. This will all take place while previewing the gala’s auction items on display before bidding opens at 5:30 pm. The cost of the Special Viewing Event for the general public will be $10 for persons 7 and older, 6 and younger are free. All registered DSOSN members admission is free.”
Guests at DSOSN’s Festival of Trees and Lights can bid on exquisitely decorated holiday décor.
DSOSN’s Festival of Trees and Lights gala was started by the organization’s founding members in 1988 and quickly became an annual holiday tradition. The gala is black-tie optional and includes a hosted cocktail reception, live and silent auctions hosted by celebrity auctioneer Christian Kolberg, a multi-course gourmet meal, recognition and awards, entertainment, dancing, and a champagne toast.
Proceeds raised from the Festival of Trees and Lights will remain local and allow DSOSN to continue servicing individuals and families with Down syndrome and other Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD). Individual gala tickets are available for $250 or $2,000 for a table of eight. Sponsorships and advertising opportunities also are available.
To purchase tickets or get more information about the event, please visit https://www.dsosn.org/festival-of-trees-and-lights.
(LAS VEGAS) – The Giving Machine, the popular #LightTheWorld vending machine that works in reverse by giving users an opportunity to purchase a variety of much-needed items for local and global charities via the swipe of a credit or debit card, or Apple and Google Pay, remains at Downtown Summerlin through Jan. 1, 2023.
Vegas Golden Knights player Keegan Kolesar made the first ceremonial donation with the help of VGK mascot, Chance – to mark the beginning of the holiday giving season.
In 2021, a global campaign in 2021 raised more than $5.8 million worldwide, with more than $740,000 donated at Downtown Summerlin to support five local nonprofits, two global charities.
Local nonprofit beneficiaries this year include Catholic Charities, HELP of Southern Nevada, Project 150, Three Square and Volunteers in Medicine. Global beneficiaries include Church World Services and Lifting Hands International.
Las Vegans can make donations by purchasing items that range in price from $3 to $250 and include staples such as meals on wheels and pet food for homebound seniors, bus passes, nebulizers and blood pressure cuffs, food for Ukrainian families, clothing, coats, and hygiene items. For the global charities, items include chickens, beehives, milk goats and education costs for young girls.
Now in its fifth year, Giving Machines, a global initiative of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, raised more than $5.8 million at ten locations worldwide during the 2021 holiday season with more than $740,000 donated by more than 41,000 visitors at the Downtown Summerlin Giving Machine. Of that total, more than $500,000 was donated to support five local nonprofits, and nearly $240,000 was donated to two global nonprofits.
For more information, visit GivingMachinesLasVegas.com.
By Aleza Freeman
November 13 was National Kindness Day, so it only seems fitting that today is National Philanthropy Day. Our kindness meters are already working. Let's amp them up to give back to the community.
Maybe you can't make it rain like billionaire philanthropist Mackenzie Scott, who over the past seven months, generously gave "$1,990,800,000 to 343 organizations." But when it comes to your favorite charity, every penny counts.
Even with no cash to spare, there's something else invaluable to give – your time.
Volunteering your time to nonprofits not only makes a difference for those in need, but it also provides you with a sense of purpose and teaches you valuable skills, according to job website indeed.com.
It might also be good for your health! One study found that volunteering was associated with greater increases in psychological well-being.
What is philanthropy?
What is National Philanthropy Day?
Following the creation of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) in 1986, U.S. President Ronald Reagan proclaimed November 15 as National Philanthropy Day. "Communities all throughout the world have celebrated the importance of this occasion ever since," according to the holiday tracking website National Today.
Though unrelated, 1986 is the same year that millions of Americans raised money for poverty charities by holding hands to form a chain around the country in the infamous "Hands Across America" charity event.
How to celebrate National Philanthropy Day
Get your glitter on: Light up your life and the lives of others at Glittering Lights at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. When you drive through the 2.5 miles of millions of twinkling lights, a portion of your ticket benefits Speedway Children’s Charities, helping children in need across America.
Glittering Lights provides fun for the whole family and other charitable opportunities tonight from 4:45 p.m. to 9 p.m., and throughout the winter holidays into January.
Lend a hand locally: Reach out to your favorite charity or sign up to find an opportunity to help on a website like Volunteer Match. If you still aren't sure where to volunteer, research causes that are important to you. You're sure to find a good fit.
Plenty of charities in Las Vegas can use extra help, especially during the holiday season. Check out our calendar to see upcoming nonprofit opportunities in Las Vegas.
Adopt a fuzzy family member: Cue the sad Sarah McLachlan music. There are several pet charities in Las Vegas, like the Animal Foundation and the NSPCA, and they're all overcrowded with lonely, loving animals looking for a home.
Not sure you want to adopt? Take your time getting to know the kitties at Hearts Alive Village, while hanging out and sipping a beverage in the Cat Cafe.
Not only will adopting a new pet help clear the shelters, but you'll gain a new best friend.
Clean out your closet: Weed through your closet and fill a box with last season's shoes, shirts and other clothing items for a local shelter, such as Safe Nest or Las Vegas Rescue Mission. If you have leftover food and supplies from a former pet, donate them to an animal organization (or see the suggestion above this one).
Shout out to local students
Las Vegas Day School students are branching out on National Philanthropy Day by planting 15 trees at Firefighters Memorial Park. Read more about their efforts in the Nevada Business Press.
How are you celebrating National Philanthropy Day? Share your plans in the comments below!
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