Haute Event: Harvest for Hope Raises $300,000 for Communities in Schools

CISN Harvest for Hope artwork. Photos: Joe Durkin/Phojo Photo

Last Friday night, more than 600 people joined Communities In Schools of Nevada (CISN) at the second annual Harvest For Hope, raising a grand total of $300,000 at the family-friendly affair. The World Market Center was decorated with one-of-a-kind scarecrows, beautiful sunflowers and pumpkins, plus exquisite dining presented by The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, transforming the Pavilion into a seasonal spectacular.

The family affair was an instant hit as children, decked out in their most creative costumes, immediately jumped aboard the trackless train ride and spent time at the petting zoo all before entering the Pavilion where face painters, obstacle courses, a giant rock wall, caricature artists and a photo booth awaited.  A sweet tooth was destined for children hitting up the Sugar Factory Candy Bar while adults were greeted by an extensive coffee bar to provide them with plenty of energy to carry through the night.

Mercedes Bolt from MIX 94.1 FM’s morning show “Mark and Mercedes” was mistress of ceremonies to the evening’s festivities. Susie Lee, board president of CISN, welcomed the attendees before introducing Terri Clark, CISN CEO. Terri presented the signature “Big Crow” award to BeBe Adams of Barrick Gold of North America, to recognize the company’s $1.2 million commitment for CISN services in both southern and northeastern Nevada over the next four years.

Special moments throughout the evening included remarks from Communities In Schools National President Dan Cardinali, Communities In Schools Chairman Elaine Wynn and testimonial from Canyon Springs High School sophomore Victor Blancarte. A special performance by Rancho High School’s Ballet Folklorico energized the group before the live auction took over.

Competition heated up as supporters fought for coveted items ranging from an exclusive tour and meet and greet with The Cake Boss and opportunity to experience The Ellen Show and X-Factor. The private in-home dinner for eight by Chef Paul Bartolotta was a hot item, going for $6,000, while the New Year’s Eve entertainment package from The Cosmopolitan including tickets to The Killers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, room and dinner went for $5,000. An exclusive dinner with Chef Jose Andres inside Jaleo’s private Biblioteca dining room raised $8,000 before Harvest For Hope.

The silent auction area was surrounded by guests admiring the outstanding scarecrow creations and luxurious packages up for bid. Neiman Marcus, Crystals at City Center, and many more community partners shifted the looks of traditional scarecrows to create unique works of art to showcase donated items up for bid.

In addition, 12 iconic art pieces were commissioned exclusively for Harvest for Hope this year as truly unique items up for auction. Luis Varela-Rico welded metal, origami-inspired birds that flew into the hands of the community’s most prominent artists to be painted for the event. Chris Bauder, Kevin Chupik, Brian Henry, Shawn Hummel, KD Matheson, Jerry Misko, Danny Roberts, David Ryan, Niki Sands, Joseph Watson and Varela-Rico himself all created signature designs, and the sculptures ended up raising more than $15,000 for the cause.
The fundraising came to a climax when the auctioneer urged those unable to win an auction item to donate to the cause, and Elaine Wynn successfully ignited the giving by offering to match $25,000 in contributions.

A warm glow was cast over the main dining area as nine restaurants from The Cosmopolitan dished small plates for both adults and children. China Poblano served Flautas de Pato con Mole Miahauteco, Sopa de Calabaza, mango sticky rice, coconut tapioca balls, and salt air margaritas. Blue Ribbon offered assorted sushi rolls, and D.O.C.G. had pumpkin raviolini on the menu. Holstein’s dished out Billy burger sliders, sweet potato chips and applesauce cupcakes. Jaleo served Jamón Ibérico de bellota Fermin, Gambas al ajillo, and Fricandó de carilleras de ternera y puré de patatas al aceite de olive, alongside a Sangría de Vino Tinto. Estiatorio Milos offered Tiropita and Spanakopita, mini Milos Gyros, a tomato salad and Greek yogurt. Scarpetta had yellowtail crudo and ricotta agnolotti on the menu, while STK served spiced pickled prawns and heirloom tomato salad. The Henry provided Short Rib Benedict as well as Millionaire’s Deviled Eggs.

In addition to the signature lobster roll, Comme Ça provided guests with specialty cocktails including Parents’ Thyme Out and the Pirated Pumpkin. The Chandelier also served themed libations including the Spiced Apple Jack and Angel’s Landing.

Guests including Scott Menke, Mary Kaye Cashman, Irene Oseland, Diana Bennett, Tom Thomas, Marcus White, Sean Gamble, Anna Robbins, Ellen Schaner, and Michael Shulman were sighted mixing and mingling throughout the evening. John Unwin, Andrew and Trina Pascal, John and Lauren Lin, Anne Mazzola, and Annemarie and Fletcher Jones enjoyed the affair with their children.

Click on the photos below to enlarge.

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