Monday, August 3, 2009

A Grand Gesture

My apologies for the long wait for this post. I know many of you have called me looking for the next Rave… I spent most of the week vacationing in Arizona. Among my travels I visited the Grand Canyon. Those of you who have visited before will know what I mean when I say it was nothing short of breathtaking. For those of you who haven’t seen it, I definitely recommend making the trip.

If you’re looking to add a twist to your trip, check out the Grand Canyon’s invasive plant removal project. Invasive plants are non-native to the environment in which they reside. These “alien invaders”, as the National Park Service likes to call them, disrupt the natural ecosystem of the Grand Canyon. They provide unsafe food sources and habitat for the wildlife found in this great state park.

You can help preserve the natural environment of the Grand Canyon by volunteering to help remove these invasive plants. According to the Summer 2009 South Rim Visitor’s Guide, “A group of volunteers can pull thousands of plants in one day; many times more than the National Park Service staff could do alone.” This unique project enhances your trip to the Grand Canyon by giving you a perspective that most park visitors don’t get… a first-hand look at the surface of the canyon.

I think this would be a great project for Rotary/Rotaract, Kiwanis, Sierra Student Coalition UNLV, or any other group/organization looking for a fun way to participate in community service by protecting our natural environment for generations to come. The North Rim is less than 2 hours from Las Vegas, so this would be an easy project to escape Vegas for a day and be back by supper.

To volunteer visit or contact the Grand Canyon Trust at (928) 774-7488.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mayor Oscar Goodman’s 70th Birthday Celebration: One Big Bash to Benefit Three Different Charities

Las Vegas’ Mayor Oscar Goodman is turning 70 and he’s celebrating in style. Join his birthday bash and have a Bombay Sapphire Martini or two on the Fremont Street Experience Friday, July 31 at 7 p.m. Come enjoy the live entertainment as well as a special presentation by the US Bartenders Guild. Attendees will receive a commemorative t-shirt and button and will be one of the Oscar “faces” in the Mayor’s birthday photo.

Tickets are $20 and sold at the door only. Proceeds will benefit three great local Las Vegas Charities: Three Square, the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and Opportunity Village.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

It's a 'Feel Good Friday'

Greetings! I am happy to be sending out my first official post. This blog will cover many topics related to community service. Many people want to be involved in their community, and perhaps already are. I want to make it a little easier by providing information on upcoming events for various organizations, unique ways to get involved and general updates from the non-profit world. I hope everyone enjoys these posts and finds it a little easier to go out and help the Las Vegas community.

To celebrate my first blog post, tonight I volunteered at ‘Feel Good Fridays’ hosted by Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth. I have worked with this organization in the past through Rotaract, and am looking to get the club involved in the ‘Feel Good Fridays’ event. I decided to check it out first with my boyfriend David. We both found it to be a rewarding experience and a great way to spend time together on a Friday night giving back to the community.

We helped pass out baked goods, fruits and outreach packets to at-risk and homeless youth. It was truly an amazing experience. Dozens of children came to the outreach booth to pick up their tasty treats. I could definitely see the smiles on the kids’ faces as they bit into a cupcake or picked up a snack to take home with them. For some of these kids this was probably one of the only meals they will get today, and they were more than thankful for the food. What really surprised me though was how excited the younger kids were to receive the outreach packets which contained school supplies, soap, lotion and other basic necessities. I could see a few faces light up as they went throught their goodie bag and it reminded me of how much we take our basic necessities for granted.

‘Feel Good Fridays’ also gives the chance for children to interact with older adults in an informal mentor situation. The Community Relations Manager at NPHY, Larry Lovelett, really put his heart into making the kids happy. Several times I saw interacting with the kids, even arm wrestling with a few (we can guess who he let win those matches). He took an interest in each youth as an individual rather than looking at them as a statistic.

There are several ways you can participate in ‘Feel Good Fridays.’ Stop by the 7-11 on the corner of Maryland and Reno every Friday to donate some time helping pass out the food and packets or canvass the neighborhood to spread the word about this amazing program. If you are a first time volunteer, please come to the mandatory training session at 5:30 (which is actually very short). For returning volunteers looking to man the food booth or canvas the neighborhood, I suggest you arrive shortly before 6 p.m. The event runs until 7 or 7:30 p.m. based on demand. Any time that you can give to this organization would definitely be appreciated and worthwhile.

If you don’t have time to volunteer at the event, but can drop off some treats (baked goods, individually pre-packaged snacks, or fruits) on your way home from work, the staff at NPHY and more importantly the children would be very appreciative.

For more information on NPHY please visit their website at or call (702) 383-1332. You can also click on the link to the left of my page.

My next move will be to contact our current Rotaract president to coordinate the clubs attendance at one of the ‘Feel Good Fridays.’ I hope to see you all out there as well!