Inaugural Scarecrow Festival Leaves Communities In Schools of Nevada Glowing with more than $210,000 Raised to Support Students

Las Vegas, October 22, 2011 - 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.

"We are thrilled with the turnout for our first-ever Scarecrow festival! It was an honor to witness the community come together to support a cause the greatly affects the state of Nevada," said Susie Lee, board president of CISN. "We appreciated everyone's charitable contributions as well as those who continue to pledge their support to the organization. We are beside ourselves with the backing we've received from our sponsors, volunteers and staff and board members. We cannot wait to begin planning for next year's event!"

The inaugural family affair went off without a hitch as 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 among 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 The Cosmopolitan 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 incredible 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, The 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 nonprofits 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, Susie announced the costume contest winner and praised supporters for their bids and pledges they committed to CISN which totaled $210,000 for the evening.


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About CISN
Communities In Schools of Nevada is the local affiliate of the nation's leading dropout prevention organization and Nevada's most effective intervention organization. The CIS mission is to surround students with a community of support so they can succeed in school and achieve in life. CIS of Nevada supports nearly 25,000 students over 38 sites in Southern Nevada and Northeastern Nevada, connecting them with critical services such as medical and dental care, mental health counseling services, food, clothing, tutoring, career exploration, academic development and other programs. CIS uniquely provides the services on campus, with a full-time case manager to advocate for at-risk students at partner comprehensive sites. CIS connects community resources to partner schools using a research-proven model that decreases dropout and increases graduation. Nationwide, CIS provides services in 3,400 schools in the most challenged communities, in 25 states and the District of Columbia, benefitting nearly 1.3 million young people and their families every year. For more information, please see our website http://www.cisnevada.org.

Keep up with CIS events and news on Facebook.

CONTACT:
Alison Monaghan / Kristin Merchant
Kirvin Doak Communications
(702) 737-3100
amonaghan@kirvindoak.com / kmerchant@kirvindoak.com