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Las Vegas Society News  

Note: This is a past article from November 07, 2014
You can find the current Las Vegas Society News article HERE


by Dr. Adele Zorn

(center) Founder of Old Time Reunion - Thalia Dondero

Founder of Old Time Reunion - Ken Johann

Kevin Buckley-Event Chairperson and Dr. Adele Zorn

The 19th Old-Time Reunion Party was once again held at The ORLEANS Grand Ballroom. This was the 19th annual celebration for LAS VEGAS residents who have lived here 30 years or more. Nostalgia, camaraderie, great food, drinks and musical entertainment was enjoyed by long-time Las Vegans.

This great idea took hold eighteen years ago when a group of long-time Las Vegans would get together for breakfast at Bagel Mania. Thalia Dondero, Claudine Williams, Ron and Art Lurie, Davey and Lou Pearl, Ken Johann, Abe Fox, Ruthe Deskin, Jack Kogan and Paul Endy had so much fun talking about old times, they decided it would be great to share this kind of nostalgia with others who had lived in Las Vegas for at least 30 years.

The first Old-Time Reunion Party was held at ARIZONA CHARLIES with 500 people attending, and each year, the gathering gets bigger. I don’t know how many guests were at this event, but the place was packed to the hilt. The amazing thing is that the event is not even advertised, but somehow the word gets out. Unfortunately, many of the founders are gone, but they left a legacy that has become an annual celebration.

Long-time Las Vegans at the party include Las Vegas movers and shakers and everyday people brought together by the fact that they have been here long enough to realize how wonderful this town is (or was). Long- time residents had experienced living in an atmosphere of 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 neighbors do not seem to even know each other. Although the town has grown so much, and most long-time Las Vegans complain about the growth, celebrants have so much fun and excitement in seeing one another and reminiscing. I have attended every Old-Time Reunion Party since its inception at ARIZONA CHARLIES. Then it was held at THE STARDUST and now at THE ORLEANS. Guests pay $45 to attend and this includes a dinner, entertainment, and two drinks.

Musical Combo playing during Cocktail Reception

Bob Coffin and Peter Anthony

Standing: Marty Allen and wife – sitting: Lou Toomin and daughter

The 19th Annual Old-Time Reunion Party started with a Cocktail Reception in the outer ballroom with a combo playing music. Many old timers can remember Sasha Semenoff who would always play on his fabulous violin with a combo during the Cocktail Reception, but, unfortunately Sasha Semenoff has passed, and he is certainly missed.

During the Cocktail Reception, old friends were able to greet and enjoy meeting each other. Among guests were the original founders: Thalia Dondaro and Ken Johann and current Chairman of the event, Kevin Buckley. Seen mingling were: Jim Marsh, Marilyn and Mel Larson, former Governor Bob Miller and Sandy Miller, Bob Coffin, Peter Anthony, Denny Weddle, Angie Wallin, Julie Gilday Shaffer, Joanne Titus, John Flood, Rosita Kanes, Susan Houston, Lou Toomin and daughter. Others were: Dr. Lonnie and Sandy Hammergren, Senator Mark Manendo and Robin, and Former Judge Bill Jansen and wife, Nora.

After the Cocktail Reception, guests entered the Mardi Gras Ballroom for dinner and entertainment. During the evening Videos that were part of Las Vegas’ heritage of long-gone hotels, historical places and events were screened on the walls such as:

McCarren AIRPORT’s - First Entrance
CLUB BINGO - 1947 – became the SAHARA in 1952
SILVERBIRD 1977 – became El RANCHO

Michael T. Orchestra (Michael Tramontana) with singer Corrie Sachs

Videos of old-time places played around the Ballroom walls

Guests at Ballroom during dinner – notice old-time videos being played on the walls

The Michael T Band with vocalist Corrie Sachs played throughout the evening.

Dinner was quite good and even better this year.

Dinner menu: Orleans Salad:
A 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 Chicken Breast, Chef’s Selection of Fresh Vegetables and Scalloped Potatoes Napoleon – Rolls and Butter
Dessert: Peach Melba.

During dinner, Michael T introduced special entertainment by singer Chadwick Johnson.

So many other guests enjoying the party were:

Center - with wife Mikey - former U.S.
Congressman Jim Bilbray – Sam Lieberman on (r)

(L) Marilyn and Mel Larson - Nora and former Judge Bill Jansen

Senator Mark Manendo with Dr. Adele Zorn

Beverly Mykisen, Rosita Kanes, Denny Weddle and Susan Houston

Edy and Henry Kronberg with Paula and Dr. Joe Quagliana

Nelson Sardelli, Beverly and Mike Mykissen, John O’Reilly, Bob Goslin, Maynard Sloate, Maureen Kane, Ginger Magleby, Sallie and Vern Clapp, Paul DePiero, Vicky Sessler, Rochelle Hornsby, Sheryl Leeland and first pageant winner of Ms. Senior Las Vegas, Dorothy Guralnik. Everyone enjoyed this annual event and said they will be looking forward to the next Old-Time Reunion Party.

[ List of Past Las Vegas Society News Articles ]
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