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Las Vegas Society News  

23rd ANNUAL LAS VEGAS OLD-TIME REUNION PARTY

by Dr. Adele Zorn

The Old Time Reunion Party has been a tradition worth keeping and this year’s celebration was the annual 23rd Old-Time Reunion Party. It’s hard to realize that 23 years have passed since the first Old-Time Reunion Party. This great idea took hold twenty-three years ago when a group of long-time Las Vegans would get together for breakfast at Bagel Mania and decided it would be great to share their kind of nostalgia with others who had lived in Las Vegas for at least 30 years. This started the annual party that grew and grew each year. We must never forget the founders, unfortunately all gone, and their legacy of the annual Old-Time Reunion Parties. They are: Thalia Dondaro, Claudine Williams, Art Lurie, Davey and Lou Pearl, Ken Johann, Abe Fox, Ruth Deskin, Jack Kogan and Paul Endy.


Guests

Fred Dumaini Jr. with wife and friends

Randy Soard on left with Ron Dumaini, wife and friend

The first Old-Time Reunion Party was held with 500 people attending. The event was not even advertised, but somehow the word got out, and each year, the gathering got bigger and bigger. The first Old-Time Reunion Party was held at ARIZONA CHARLIES. Then, for awhile it was held at THE STARDUST. Since the demise of the Stardust the event has been held at THE ORLEANS. I don’t know how many guests were at this year’s event, but the ORLEANS Mardi Gras Ballroom was packed to the hilt. Guests pay $55 to attend which includes dinner, entertainment, and two drinks.


Standing - Mike Schaefer Seated - Janet Barnbrook, Adriana Martinez and Robin Munier

John Pacheco and friends

NV friends having a great time with Susan Houston wearing kooky hat

The annual Old Time Reunion celebration now includes newer than 30 year residents of Las Vegas. The event brings about nostalgia and camaraderie for Las Vegas movers and shakers and everyday people by the fact that they live here and realize how wonderful this town. Many long-time residents and those who are Las Vegas natives have experienced living in an atmosphere of Las Vegas as a small town, where everyone knew one another. They had witnessed the phenomenal growth of Las Vegas becoming a big city metropolis and bemoan the fact that now most neighbors do not seem to even know each other. Although the town has grown so much, and many long- time Las Vegans complain about the growth, celebrants have so much fun and excitement in seeing one another and reminiscing.


Rollie Givvs, Naomi Givvs, and Laura Ungaro

Rochelle Hornsby and friends with Monte Rock wearing hat with Debbie Gold

Amy and Danny Tarkanian

The 23nd Annual Old-Time Reunion Party started as guests mingled and enjoyed meeting each other. I spoke to many who were here for the first time and were having a great time. This year upon signing names on cards to be worn, a flashing colorful Las Vegas magnetic light saying Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas was given to be worn by each guest. Among the guests seen mingling were: Richard Bryan, Linda Givens (lives in Las Vegas since 1958), Laura Ungaro, Mark and Gloria Fine, Rollie and Naomi Givvs, Dr. Lonnie and Sandy Hammargren, Debbie Gold, Pamela and Bert Brown, Jim Marsh, Robin Munier, Susan Houston, Adelle and Ray Eicher and Amy and Danny Tarkanian.

Chairperson of the event, Kevin Buckley was unable to attend and Co-Chair Julie Gilday-Shaffer welcomed all to the event


Co-chair of event - Julie Gilday-Shaffer welcoming guests

Former Las Vegas Governor and NV State Senator Richard Bryan and Friends

Cindy Doumani standing behind Mickey Silver and Ken Baker

Dinner and entertainment followed.

Dinner menu:
Orleans Salad: A delicate blend of Butter Leaf, Spinach Leaf and Red Leaf Lettuce with Dried Cranberries, Candied Walnuts and Crumbled Bleu Cheese with a Champagne Vinaigrette.
Entrée: Filet Mignon with Pinot Noir Sauce and Grilled Salmon, Chef’s Selection of Fresh Vegetables and Scalloped Potatoes Napoleon – Rolls and Butter
Dessert: Triple Mousse Cake
Freshly Brewed Coffee, Decaffinated Coffee, Tea or Iced Tea


Videos that were part of Las Vegas’ heritage of long-gone hotels, historical places and events were continuously screened on the walls such as:

McCarren AIRPORT ’s - First Entrance
FIRST POST OFFICE - 1915 on the GOLDEN NUGGET site
CLUB BINGO - 1947 – became the SAHARA in 1952
SAHARA – closed May 16, 2011 now open as SLS.
HELDORADO DAYS - 1951
DUNES, RIVIERA, AND TROPICANA – 1955-57
CASTAWAYS – 1963 became THE MIRAGE
CIRCUS CIRCUS - 1968
SILVERBIRD 1977 – became El RANCHO
SILVER SLIPPER 1950 – 1988

The Michael T Band with vocalist Elisa Fiorillo played throughout the evening.


Michael T Band with vocalist Elisa Fiorillo

Former NV Senator and Governor Richard Bryan with Dr. Adele Zorn

I was so busy running around mingling and taking pictures, that I was unable to spend time getting some interesting stories that were being told. However, one was from Naomi Little Givvs who was the original Miss Rodeo 1954. Her husband Rollie Givvs original Mormon family moved to Las Vegas in 1840.

Some of the other guests enjoying the party were:


Barbara Cegavske (NV Secretary of State) and friends

Dr. Lonnie Hammargren on (Left) and wife Sandy Hammargren on (Right)

Susan Shlisky hugging husband Matt and friends

Beverly and Mike Mykissen, Cindy Doumani, Cindy’s sons Fred Doumani Jr. and wife and Ron Doumani and wife, Dondino and wife Donna, Rochelle Hornsby, Ed and Carol Lee Swindle, Tony and Karen Ruviviar, Sonya Ross, Don Kemp, Sam Lieberman, Barbara Cegavske (NV Secretary of State), Susan and Ronald Shlisky (Susan and I had performed in shows together in the past) Jim Marsh, Fran Nelson, Cindy Joseph, John Pacheco, Dr. Lonnie and Sandy Hammargren, Bert and Deanne Brown and so many other wonderful guests too many to name.


Mickey Silver, Ken and Marilyn Baker and Kat Ray

Denny Weddle between Karen and Tony Ruivivar (Society of Seven founder)

Everyone enjoyed this annual event and said they will be looking forward to the next annual Old-Time Reunion Party.



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