Haute Event: Inaugural Scarecrow Festival Raises $210,000 to Support Students

Susie Lee and Dwight Jones

Last night, more than 500 children and adults joined Communities In Schools of Nevada (CISN) at its inaugural Scarecrow Festival, raising more than $210,000 at the first-time family fare. The Sports Center of Las Vegas was transformed into a seasonal wonderland decorated with hand-carved pumpkins, specialty scarecrows and spooky All Hallow’s Eve adornment. Festive activities and roaming entertainment kept little ones occupied, and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas’ world class chefs prepared one-of-a-kind tastings.

Children, donned in their most creative costumes, paraded from the hay bale maze to a magical lollipop field, backyard adventure and hair-raising batting cages among many other interactive play stations. Adults were able to hide away at the Crow Bar where beer and wine provided by Southern Wine and Spirits quenched their thirst. Guests perused the auction area filled with amazing scarecrow creations and luxurious silent auction packages.

Neiman Marcus, Crystal, Sax Fifth Avenue, Wynn Las Vegas and many other community partners created museum-quality scarecrows to showcase their donated items for the silent auction. Schools and student organizations that CISN serves also created one-of-a-kind scarecrows that were paired with additional prize packages ranging from a seven-day trip to Hawaii courtesy of ASNY Realty LLC, four roundtrip airline tickets donated by Allegiant Air as well as a pair of tickets to the Manny Pacquaio versus Juan Manuel Marquez boxing match on Nov. 12 gifted by Top Rank. Competition was stiff as supporters fought for the items of their liking all the while supporting the nation’s leading dropout prevention network.

A warm glow was cast over the main dining area as nine restaurants from Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas dished small plates for both adults and children. Restaurants prepared an interactive menu such as chefs from Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill taught children how to roll their own sushi and STK allowed guests to create sliders to their liking. Other restaurants that dished signature plates were China Poblano, Comme Ça, D.O.C.G., Holsteins, Jaleo, estiatorio Milos, Scarpetta and Wicked Spoon.

Kim and Dana Wagner from My News 3 played host of the affair as DJ Baby Chino, the states’ youngest mix master, was on the decks spinning beats for young ones to dance to. Guests including Elizabeth Blau, Kim Canteenwalla, Cynthia Mun, Dana Lee, Michelle Fong, Larry and Monica Fink, and Jenna and Michael Morton were sighted mixing and mingling as well as Allegiant Air’s Andrew Levy with wife Courtney, Todd Avery Lenahan, he Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas’ Cindy O’Keefe and Greg Waldron, The Tam Foundation’s Judy Sargent, and Andrew and Trina Pascal. Also enjoying the festivities were Rob and Irene Oseland, Paul and Robbie Bartolotta, Hilary and Jae Schmutz, Mercedes Martinez of MIX 94.1 FM, Food Network Personality and Chef/Owner of Scarpetta and D.O.C.G., Scott Conant, and former “Top Chef” contestant and Executive Chef of STK Stephen Hopcraft.

Shortly after 8 p.m. Susie Lee addressed the crowd thanking everyone for attending and supporting the nonprofit’s continual efforts of decreasing the dropout rate in Nevada. She then introduced Superintendent Dwight Jones and CEO of CISN, Terri Clark, to say a few words. Two Big Crow awards were given, one to The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas for all their efforts surrounding the event, and the second to Judy Sargent, daughter of Richard Tam who founded the Tam Foundation, for their gracious donations to CISN. Susie then recognized Elaine Wynn for agreeing to match every dollar donated at the event as the crowd erupted in applause.

As the event came to a close, Lee announced the costume contest winner and praised supporters for their bids and pledges they committed to CISN, which totaled $210,000 for the evening.

Click on the photos below to enlarge.

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