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Las Vegas Society News  

Note: This is a past article from May 03, 2016
You can find the current Las Vegas Society News article HERE

Adelson Educational Campus Pursuit of Excellence Gala
Honoree Rudolph Giuliani
by Dr. Adele Zorn

Organizers of the Gala - Meridith Heller and Jennifer George

Sheldon Adelson

A captivating and inspiring evening was experienced at Dr. Miriam & Sheldon Adelson 12th annual Adelson Educational Campus Pursuit of Excellence Gala at The Venetian. This year’s Pursuit of Excellence Award honoree was former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani for his extraordinary dedication to serving the public. A natural born leader, Rudolph W. Giuliani is considered by history to be one of the most successful mayors of New York City. On September 11, 2001, as America suffered its worst attack in its history, Mayor Giuliani was at ground zero and narrowly missed being crushed when the Towers fell. Mayor Giuliani immediately began leading the recovery of the city as it faced its darkest hour, achieving world-wide respect and earning the nickname “America’s Mayor.”

Some of the articles at Silent Auction

Dr. Miriam Adelson at Silent Auction

The Gala started as lavishly dressed guests mixed and mingled, had their pictures taken and enjoyed a cocktail reception and silent auction in the outer ballroom. At the reception, beautiful music was presented by a pianist and musical instruments were played by very talented students of the Adelson Educational Campus (AEC). In addition to a hosted bar, different area stations were serving delicious hors d’ oeuvres. A Chicken Salad Station served Mini Philo Cup with Chicken Salad, Cranberries and fine Herbs. A Pita Crisp Station: Grilled Eggplant with Red Pepper Spread and Olive Tapenade on a Pita Crisp. A Cherry Tomato Station served stuffed Cherry Tomatoes with Edamame Hummus and a Smoked Salmon Station presented Smoke Salmon Tartar in an Endive Spear with Fried Capers.

M.C. Lynn Wexler and husband Jeff Jonas

Art and Bonnie Marshall with Dr. Hugh Bassowitz

Chimes were sounded and guests entered and were seated in the main ballroom. All then stood as The Pledge of Allegiance, Star Spangled Banner and Hatikvah, Israeli National Anthem were officiated. The program was then started by the evening’s M.C. Lynn Wexler who spoke about the exceptional Adeleson Educational Campus. Next, Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson came onstage and spoke. Dr. Miriam told about her life, starting with her growing up in Israel and the importance of her education there and continuing on to her present life. Then it was Sheldon’s turn and he spoke about the merits, accomplishments and successes of the AEC students and their teachers. Sheldon was quite humorous about the current presidential nominee campaign and other events. He said that although he founded Comdex, which is about technology and computers, he doesn’t know how to use a computer except for on/off and send/delete. However, he spoke about a Technology Initiative that will be forthcoming.

Eric Hatzimemos, Dr. Adele Zorn and Rudy Juliani

Dr. Neville Pokroy, Debbie Levy, Paul and Sue Lowden and Max Friedland

Sheldon next talked about the honoree Rudolph Giuliani. Sheldon was a strong supporter of Rudy Guiliani in his campaign for Mayor of New York and called him ‘America’s Mayor.’ He admirably said how 9/11 images of Guiliani’s courage, strength and leadership are etched in our lives and of his dedicated public service, protecting our freedoms and keeping our country safe. These characteristics are the inspiration for Rudy Guiliani to receive the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Pursuit of Excellence Award. The honoree was called onstage and the Adelson’s presented Rudy Giuliani with the award.

Rudy thanked all for his Award and as spokesperson for the event he gave a very impassioned speech. First he extolled the valuable advantages of AEC. He had visited the campus and was very impressed. He said education is the base for humans to make rational and intelligent decisions. And, with that he talked about Democracy and that it came from Western civilization where the individual human is of great value and unfortunately that is not shared by others in the world. The U.S. National Anthem and Hatikvah stand for the two countries United States and Israel that stand for those values. Rudy said he started to learn about terrorism in 1974 and realized that Islamic terrorism started in 1960 when Arafat was PLO chairman. He talked about the ordered murder of a Jewish man in a wheelchair who was shot and thrown overboard on a cruise ship. He got into the current Presidential nomination process that is now going on and is very negative about it. However, he did poke jabs and jokes along with doing improvisations of all that are running, trying to make a point about each one. Rudy could almost do stand-up comedy! He concluded with “Don’t lose hope.”

Dinner at main table (center) Rudy Giuliani and Sheldon and Miriam Adelson

Dinner was then served with the following Menu:
Salad: Arugula and Boston Bibb Lettuce with Roasted Beets, Picked Shallot and Balsamic Vinaigrette
Entrée: Korean Spiced Braised Short Rib with Sauteed Baby Bok Chow, Gingered Sweet Potato Mousseline, Won-Ton Sesame Chip
Dessert: Apple Ginger Crisp served with Parve Ice Cream

AEC Students Choir

AEC students playing different musical instruments

After Dinner, The Adelson School Band and Choir performed under the direction of David Philippus. First the band played a medley of Arlo Guthrie’s
City of New Orleans and the Israeli tune - Shalom Lach Eretz Ne He Der Et – (Peace to you Lovely Country). Following was the song Le Ha Dodi (Come My Beloved)
sung by Adelson students Almog Aybar Agron, her sister Yaara and Sara Littman accompanied on piano by special guest, Maestro Bogdan Ota. Next was a surprise for Rudy Guiliani with the band playing New York, New York and Rudy came onstage with them as they performed.

Dancing the Horah

Michael McDonald with Dr. Adele Zorn

What could dancing be with Jewish people attending. Of course, a Horah and the dance floor was filled with happy people dancing.

Explanation of Lion being auctioned by Lion's designer

Jeff Manning auctioning Necklace with Singer Nieve

A very successful live auction with fantastic items was next with Auctioneer Jeff Manning. This auction was quite different than a usual auction as it had comedy and entertainment along with bringing in a very large amount of funds for the AEC. Jeff had some young dancing girls tapping to the sounds of an auction. Some of the amazing auction items that brought in maximum amounts were Adele and Justin Beiber concerts for 12 along with hotel lodging and other amenities. Then there was an individually crusted crystal lion (almost full sized) with thousands of swarovski beads that was auctioned off for $20,000. A stunning singer Nieve sang as a necklace of a gold hourglass filled with tiny cut diamonds sifted through the hourglass instead of sand, was auctioned off at $4,000. The list went on and on and appreciative guests kept bidding.

Brandon Parkinson, John and Chantelle Richmond (builders of AEC)

Dr. Florence Jameson and Amy Tarkanian

I had the pleasure of sitting at a table with Brandon Parkinson and John and Chantelle Richmond of the Crisci Builders who built the Adelson Educational Campus. There was such an extensive and impressive list of guests, it would be impossible for me to start listing names, however all seemed to have had a wonderful evening.

Audrey Smith (gold dress) and Daughter Stephanie

Dr. Adele Zorn (center) with Dr. Neville Pokroy, Debbie Levy, Sue and Paul Lowden

The Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson ‘In Pursuit of Excellence Award and Gala’ dates back to 2005 when Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson announced their major gift to the AEC school to build and support an educational environment that provides students an Education for Life. Since then the Pursuit of Excellence Award has been given to outstanding community members or world leaders who demonstrate leadership or tireless efforts on behalf of our community and philanthropic support.



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