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Brenda Hyatt, Chief Editor/Journalist
John Delibos, Journalist
Donald Scelzo, Photographer
Las Vegas, NV (June) The annual “Keep Memory Alive” Power of Love™ Gala was held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena June 13, 2015 with more than 1500 attending to support The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, located in Las Vegas, NV. After philanthropist Larry Ruvo lost his father, Lou Ruvo, to Alzheimer’s, he hosted a memorial dinner in 1995 with a few dozen of his closest friends. Guests opened their wallets and this led to seed money for “Keep Memory Alive” and the dinner became the first annual celebration of Lou Ruvo’s life, ultimately growing into the Power of Love™ gala. “Keep Memory Alive” is the annual event to raise money for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and to date “Keep Memory Alive” has raised over $200 million.
The evening included a red carpet, reception and silent auction, dinner and a live auction, entertainment, and an after party. One Item donated for the live auction was An Italian Affair package as guests of Andrea and Veronica Bocelli including an evening at their home in Italy in the company of celebrities, and a five day and four nights stay in Italy touring Florence and Rome. The package sold to over a dozen couples for $200,000 each. Other donated items included a week on Sir Richard Branson’s Private Island, Lunch with Tony Hsieh, a Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas Stay, several VIP packages to Las Vegas nightclubs, hotels, and restaurants. A Frank Gehry-designed playhouse sold for $250,000.
The Dinner and Wine Menu Reception, prepared with the direction of world-renowned celebrity chefs Wolfgang Puck and Giada de Laurentiis, to quote Robin Leach (the voice of “Keep Memory Alive”) “was fabulous.” Dishes served during the reception were from Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House, Hakkasan Las Vegas, L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Pub 1842, Shibuya, and The Mansion at the MGM. Wine pairings; Moet & Chandon, Dom Perignon Brut Champagne, Mer Soleil Reserve Chardonnay, and Ferrari-Carano Siena. The Dinner Menu first course prepared with the direction of Wolfgang Puck: summer salad with Santa Barbara spot prawns, Austrian white asparagus and citrus vinaigrette. Wine pairings; Jean-Luc Colombo Amour De Dieu Condrieu France, 2012 (courtesy of Jean-luc Colombo and Palm Bay International), and Landmark Vineyards Overlook Chardonnay California, 2012 (courtesy of Stewart Resnick). The Dinner Menu second course, prepared with the direction of Giada de Laurentiis: barolo-braised short rib with crispy lemon potatoes, shaved fennel and carrot “scapece” salad. Wine pairings; Holdredge “The True” Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast California, 2011 (courtesy of John Holdredge) and Marchesi Mazzei “Philip” Rosso Toscana IGT Tuscany, Italy, 2009 (courtesy of Marc Taub and Palm Bay International). The MGM Pastry Team completed the dinner with dessert that included Tiramisu Heartbeat (espresso-soaked lady fingers with mascarpone cream).
Several entertainers took the stage to support the gala including Gloria Estefan, Martina McBride, George Benson, and Andrea Bocelli. The highlight of the evening’s entertainment was the Celine Dion/Andrea Bocelli duet singing “The Prayer.” There wasn’t a dry eye in the room at the end of the song. Andrea and Veronica Bocelli were gala honorees for their commitment to charity work. They founded the Andrea Bocelli Foundation in 2011 to help people in difficulty due to illness, disability, poverty and social exclusion. Peter Bernhard, long time Nevada resident, was also honored with the Power of Love ™ 2015 Special Philanthropic Community Leadership Award.
The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health provides state-of-the-art care for individuals and families living with Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, frontotemporal dementia, multiple system atrophy and multiple sclerosis. Patients receive expert diagnosis and treatment at the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, which offers a complete continuum of care including no-cost opportunities to participate in education and research. An integrated fundraising entity, “Keep Memory Alive,” raises funds exclusively in support of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Nevada. For an appointment: Clevelandclinic.org/BrainHealth 702-483-6000; for clinical trials: Clevelandclinic.org/BrainHealthTrials, 855-LOU.RUVO, to support the work of the center: keepmemoryalive.org, 702-263-9797.
Just a few brain facts: You can reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s disease by staying physically and mentally active, not smoking, managing diabetes, high blood pressure and depression, and avoiding obesity. Advancing age (65+) is the primary risk factor for Alzheimer’s, but severe memory loss is not a normal part of aging. The old adage of humans only using 10% of their brain isn’t true. Every part of the brain has a known function. Neuropsychology helps assess memory problems by conducting memory assessments, collaborating with physicians to render a diagnosis, and helping families understand changes in brain health. Clinical trials are research to find new, safe, effective treatments. Trials are the only way to find better treatments or a cure, and are required by the FDA for drug development. Participants in clinical trials gain early access to potential treatments, receive expert medical care, and potentially help themselves while benefitting others, including future generations.