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Las Vegas Society News  

Note: This is a past article from December 05, 2011
You can find the current Las Vegas Society News article HERE


NEVADA ARTS ADVOCACY 13th ANNUAL GALA

THE NEVADA ARTS ADVOCACY (NAA) held their 13tth Annual Arts Advocacy Awards Dinner in grand style at the Mirage Resort & Casino. Each year the Advocacy award is given to an individual or company that has displayed significant support of culture and fine and performing arts in the state of Nevada. This year the event honored Donald D. Snyder for his extraordinary contributions to the development of Southern Nevada.NAA celebrates Don Snyder especially for his vision and realization of THE SMITH CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS.

The event began with a cocktail reception and silent auction.Guests mingled and had an opportunity to have their pictures taken, framed and given to the guest as a gift. Lovely music filled the air at the cocktail reception by The Las Vegas Academy Woodwind and Brass Quintet.


PAULA FRANCIS, channel 8 news anchor was M.C. for the evening.

Paula Francis and Husband


Paula introduced President of NAA, PATRICK CLEARY and Vice President RANDY SOARD who spoke about NAA’s accomplishments.


Afterwards, a delicious dinner was served with music during dinner by the RONNIE RATHERS TRIO.

The Dinner Menu:

Salad:Mesclum Greens, Caramelized Pecans, Apples

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Entrée: 6 oz. Filet Mignon, Cabernet Reduction

Mashed Potato in Crispy Connolly (quite different and quite good)

Cider Braised Spaghetti Squash

Sautéed Swiss Chard

Desert: Pumpkin Cheesecake, Cranberry Compote

Decadent Chocolate / Salted Caramel(Yum, Yum, Yummy)

Selected wines were provided by Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada


TERRY FATOR, puppeteer extraordinaire was the entertainment for the event and he was hilarious. Not only with his puppet, but as he interacted with a guest he had costumed as Dolly Parton. Fator then used him as if he was a Dolly Parton puppet. The audience went wild.


Guests also very much enjoyed surprise entertainment by the great singing group, HUMAN NATURE


Randy Oaks and Denny Weddle were auctioneers for the Live Auction that brought in much needed funds.Very interesting gift packages were offered and the audience responded in kind.

Bidding went back and forth for an adorable three-month old Bijon-Frise mix puppy that was finally sold for $15,500 to Cindy Dumani

The most important and interesting part of the event was when honoree DON SNYDER was seated onstage with entertainment columnist, MIKE WEATHERFORD who did a one-on-one interview with him. Although long, it was extremely informative as to the beginnings and trials and tribulations of the formation of THE SMITH CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS.

DON SNYDER has an incredible resume. Mr. Snyder was President and CEO of the Boyd Gaming Corporation since 1997 until his retirement in 2005.He was President and CEO of the Fremont Street Experience. He has been actively involved in numerous business, charitable and civic activities in Nevada and has founded or co-founded several new business in Southern Nevada too numerous to mention. To outline his total outstanding resume and community service would fill this entire article

It makes one wonder if THE SMITH CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS would ever have come to fruition if not for the efforts of DON SNYDER.

Don Snyder was deservedly given the NAA Bronze Award along with gifts and proclamations.In addition, a wonderful special PhotoMosaic artwork created by RANDY SOARD was presented to him.

This marvelous piece of artwork centers Don Snyder and his image is encased by small images of his personal and extraordinary contributions to the growth and prosperity of the State of Nevada and Las Vegas.This is a most memorable piece of art.


NAA’s student scholarship recipients were announced. They were:

Theatre: Taylor L. Khaldy - Henderson, NV

Dance:Kallie R. Mogili – Gardnerville, NV

Visual Arts: - Krista A. Klebenow – Spring Creek, NV

Music: Natalie J. Smith – Las Vegas, NV


Some guests enjoying the evening:

Irwin Molasky and Nancy HoussellsSenator Mark Manendo and Robin ReddleDiane and Pat Clary

Mike & Candy Schneider, David ParksMikey and James Bilbray (center) Shannon Bilbray Axelrod(left) Harriet Trudell (right)


Terry Jones and Jane Ann Toggione Seigfried/Annee Nounee, Lynette Chappell

Dee and Don Snyder/ Dr. Adele Zorn Liz-Elliot-Lieberman and Denny Weddle


A lovely evening was enjoyed by all. Congratulations to NAA and special thanks to NAA Executive Director and Dinner Chairman Angie Wallin.




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