The Notes: Philanthropy, April 15, 2024

Mon, Apr 15, 2024 (2 a.m.)

Special Olympics Nevada recently held an event at Allegiant Stadium to commemorate its achievement in becoming an independent entity in Nevada. Prior to successfully gaining independent status, Nevada was the only state not operating as its own Special Olympics chapter, instead operating under the umbrella of Special Olympics Northern California. Senate Bill 341 and Assembly Bill 525, both passed during the 2023 Nevada legislative session, provided $500,000 to assist the process.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Student Visionaries of the Year philanthropic competition brings together thousands of high school students from diverse backgrounds and experiences who are driven to fight blood cancer, a disease diagnosed every 180 seconds in the U.S. and has no current means of prevention. The society’s Desert Region announced the Student Visionaries of the Year, presented by Golden Entertainment, are Ryan Arcana, 15, andThalia Huygens, 17, of Bishop Gorman High School, who raised the most funds across the Las Vegas market. Arcana and Huygens secured five business sponsorships, built and led a team of 25 students, rallied over 500 donors to give, and held a “Climb and Jump for a Cure” event at the Strat to raise over $375,000 for blood cancer patients.

Rebels Give, the annual crowdfunding drive, is partnering with Makers & Finders, which offered a special Rebels Give menu throughout March, with $5 from every order going to the College of Liberal Arts and the UNLV Food Pantry. Since Rebels Give launched in 2018, nearly 10,000 gifts have resulted in $2.3 million, supporting causes across campus.

Local electronic table gaming developer Interblock kicked off the company’s philanthropic arm, Interblock Inspires, with a team of employees participating in the GiGiFIT Acceptance Challenge, a 5K organized by longtime charity partner GiGi’s Playhouse, whose mission is to increase positive awareness of Down syndrome.

Three Square Food Bank hosted its Agency Appreciation Breakfast to recognize its agency partners and their role in supporting hunger relief efforts. As part of the celebration, Three Square named New Hope Fellowship as Agency Partner of the Year. New Hope is one of Three Square’s rural partners, operating food rescue, the Emergency Food Assistance Program and home delivery programs in Pahrump. Additional award recipients included Communities in Schools of Nevada for Best in Childhood Nutrition Programs, HopeLink of Southern Nevada for the Golden Heart Award and Emergency Aid of Boulder City for Outstanding Community Partnership.

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This story originally appeared in Las Vegas Weekly.

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