Ka-ching, ka-ching. . . the revenue results have been tabulated for last Saturday’s “Keep Memory Alive” fundraising benefit at the Bellagio in Las Vegas for the new Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. In a choking recession, Keep Memory Alive has cleared a cool $10 million for the event, including one $5 million donation, two $1 million donations. That brings the grand total to more than $75 million raised by the organization since it started 13 years ago.
The event’s huge success could have been attributed to many reasons: Siegfried & Roy’s supposed final performance, the gala ambiance, the scrumptious food prepared by celebrity chefs galore, or was it the free-flowing Dom Perignon? Maybe it was the auctioned trip to David Copperfield’s Bahamas estate, hosted by the magician, which went for $60,000? Could the success be attributed to the gaggle of celebrities in attendance including Teri Hatcher, Hilary Duff, Danny DeVito and his wife, Rhea Perlman, comic actor (and former Riviera entertainment director) Steve Schirripa, Muhammed Ali, Kristin Davis, and Jane’s Addiction front man Perry Ferrell?
Tossing conjectures aside, the gala highlighted Keep Memory Alive’s team coordination and fundraising prowess to bring about an heightened awareness to brain disorder diseases – Alzeimer’s alone afflicts about 5.2 million Americans – and raise money in Las Vegas in a down economy for a great cause.