Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 | 4:28 p.m.
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
Strip headliners and nightclub crews are making remarkable donations to the annual toy drive that KLUC Morning Zoo DJ Chet Buchanan holds every year to assist HELP of Southern Nevada.
Today, Criss Angel of Cirque du Soleil’s “Believe” at the Luxor was the first to stop by with a $25,000 donation of cash and gifts. XS at Steve Wynn’s Encore and Tryst at the Wynn staff, who last year donated a record-breaking $171,000 toy donation, started their three-hour shopping spree this morning.
This year’s contribution led by Jesse Waits, managing partner, and John Wood, VIP services director, will take their donations to more than $500,000 in seven years.
TIM & FAITH’S TROOP SALUTE: Country superstars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are helping welcome the nation’s wounded military veterans to the Venetian’s first Salute our Troops holiday season visit. Tim and Faith have dedicated the opening night of their three-month run Friday to the troops, who are receiving all-expenses-paid trips for a vacation at the Venetian.
“Salute Our Troops not only provides an opportunity to thank our nation’s heroes, but also is an outlet to help them deal with the hardships of recovery and the stress it places on their families in a positive way,” said Patricia Driscoll, president and executive director of the Armed Forces Foundation. Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson, the chairman and CEO of the Venetian and Palazzo’s parent company, Las Vegas Sands, lent their aircraft to fly the wounded warriors this morning from Walter Reed and Fort Belvoir Military Medical Centers in Washington, D.C., to Las Vegas.
Upon arrival, they were given a police motorcade to escort them to the Palazzo, and a cheering crowd of guests and hotel team members greeted them in the atrium gardens. During the vacation, the heroes will enjoy Winter in Venice, lavish accommodations, tours of the Strip, opening-night tickets to Tim and Faith’s “Soul2Soul,” tickets to Mannheim Steamroller Christmas at the Palazzo, gondola rides, a visit to Lagasse’s Stadium, services at Canyon Ranch SpaClub and a gourmet cookout hosted by Omaha Steaks at Madame Tussaud’s.
TYSON AND ‘THE VIEW’: Boxing legend and Las Vegas resident Mike Tyson flew to New York today, where he will record “The View” as co-host Thursday for broadcast on Friday. He’ll be talking about his show, new foundation and “Flip the Script,” an anti-bullying campaign created by our hometown agency R&R Partners that features Miss America Randi Sundquist.
RAISE A GLASS! Prohibition was lifted 79 years ago today, and Americans could once again legally drink in reopened bars. Obviously, we’d celebrate Repeal Day like no other place on Earth, so for four hours tonight, the Mob Museum downtown will host a Roaring ’20s after-hours party. And be sure to check out the Repeal Day celebration at chef Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood in Mandalay Bay for food and cocktail specials from 7 to 9 p.m.
CHEFS ASSIST VICTIMS: As previously reported, this Sunday, 22 restaurants across the Strip are joining forces for a food and wine event to raise money for the American Red Cross’s Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Chefs Francois Payard and Scott Conant are cooking at the unforgettable feast on New York-New York’s Brooklyn Bridge, and Joel Robuchon is stopping by to help.
POKER SUPPORTER PHELPS: At the World Poker Tour Classic stop in Montreal last week, Olympic great Michael Phelps flew in last-minute when he heard his best friend and roommate Jeff Gross made the Final Table. If the past is a preview of the future, we might see Michael at the Bellagio this Sunday if one his pals make the Final Table. I’ll join the Royal Flush Girls there for Sunday’s televised action.
Cast members of “Rock of Ages” opening at the Venetian on Dec. 18 took a break from rehearsals to see “Peephow’s” new headlining star Coco Austin on Tuesday. Also at Planet Hollywood’s Peepshow Theater, cast members from “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace, including Angel Porrino, who played Bo Peep until Coco arrived to replace Holly Madison. Coco is set to stay with the show until March 10, not March 3, as I previously said.
Boxing champion and Las Vegas resident Floyd Mayweather Jr. watched “Believe” and posed for a photo with Criss backstage.
Arizona Cardinals cornerback Justin Bethel partied with teammates and friends to the sounds of Las Vegas DJ 3LAU at Marquee in the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
“Gigolos” stud Brace Land and producer Marklen Kennedy dined at chef Carla Pellegrino’s Meatball Spot in Town Square.
Bearded and bowler-hatted ZZ Top rock the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel and return Friday for a second concert.
The kickoff party for 2012 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is at Fremont Street Experience, with free concerts by Uncle Kracker, Clay Walker, Jana Kramer and Dustin Lynch.
Krewella headlines the Play Hard party at Surrender in the Encore.
The Grand Ole Vegas Revue, a show dating to vaudeville of the 1900s, has its premiere gala at Plaza Showroom downtown. “Phantom -- the Las Vegas Spectacular” performers Jonathan and Marisa Gorst are the show’s creators.
A sneak preview of Tim and Faith’s “Soul2Soul” starting its mini-residency at the Venetian this weekend, a rundown of the NFR events and extraordinary photo coverage of the first welcome to Las Vegas for the 89 2012 Miss Universe Pageant princesses.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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