Great Gatsby Gala Review - Themed Event Held at Palatial Henderson Residence


Lights of Compassion Honoree Wayne Newton and his lovely wife Kathleen McCrone Newton, center, were greeted by Great Gatsby Gala hosts Bruce and Barbara Woollen

Henderson, Nevada, May 18, 2013 - Supporters of The American Humane Association were welcomed into the palatial Henderson home of Bruce and Barbara Woollen for the May 18 Great Gatsby Gala celebrating the work of the organization. The glamorous Saturday evening event was part of the elegant “Lights of Compassion” weekend in Las Vegas which raised funds to continue the work of the group.


It was an evening of glamour at the Great Gatsby Gala with superb entertainment, beautiful surroundings, delicious culinary offerings, and recognition of many of those who have supported the goals of the Association.

Becky Moreno, Susan Raybould, and Debbie Kandoll donned Gatsby-themed fashion

Guests came from as far away as Florida to salute the honorees and support the programs of the organization. The Las Vegas Valley served as a magnificent visual backdrop for the festivities enjoyed in and outside the 20,000 square foot Anthem Country Club estate.

Debbie Kandoll, Megan Blake, and Kristen Mauer posed on the Red Carpet.

Every guest was a VIP and was asked to pose for photos on the Red Carpet leading to the front door. The entertainment began even before people entered the magnificent home.

Outside the door, guests were greeted with the singing of Caitlin Comesky, accompanied by Eric Castro, classical guitarist and baritone.


Mike Kazanjian left, of Kazanjian Jewelers of Beverly Hills, chatted with entertainment legend Marty Allen

Exquisite jewelry from the Hollywood Collection of Kazanjian of Beverly Hills was on display as part of a silent auction to benefit the organization

Guests mixed and mingled while enjoying cocktails and hors d'oeuvres as they admired the beautiful surroundings.

The food was plentiful and delicious

The sumptuous buffet dinner included crisp Caesar salad, shrimp salad, a variety of raviolis, chicken, beef tenderloin, and luscious chocolates and fruit for dessert.

The evening was a wonderful opportunity to chat with guests that included philanthropists, entertainers, and television and movie stars all there to do their part to raise funds for the American Humane Association which supportslocal animal rescue efforts, and wounded warriors who need the healing care of a therapy dog.

NBC-TV anchors Jim Snyder and Jessica Moore, far right and center, enjoyed seeing local entetainers Ricky Moreno, left, and his brother Frankie Moreno who appear at the Stratosphere

Jim Snyder and Jessica Moore emceed the event

Those honored during the evening were U.S. Congressman Joe Heck,  Wayne Newton, Mrs. Howard Hughes (actress Terry Moore), and Christine Robinson, Executive Director of Las Vegas’ The Animal Foundation, and philanthropist Patrick Park.

Congress Joe Heck received an award for his service

Congressman Joe Heck was honored for his service to the community. Dr. Heck has more than 25 years in public service as a physician, Army Reservist, and community volunteer.

Wayne Newton has always been known as an animal lover and patriot

Wayne Newton is one of only two people to receive Las Vegas' Medal of Honor. It's clear to all who know him that his heartfelt patriotism is at the very core of who Wayne Newton is. He has entertained troops in every major confrontation our country has been in since Vietnam and he was there twice.

From 2001 through 2004, Newton took 16 USO tours overseas. He was the first performer to entertain our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has always believed that, “Entertaining for our men and women of our armed forces overseas has been one of the highlights of my life.” Newton is an animal lover who has housed love birds, swans, Arabian horses, and a penguin.

Terry Moore, aka Mrs. Howard Hughes was all smiles

Mrs. Howard Hughes, aka actress Terry Moore, is committed to ensuring the welfare and well-being of animals and children and puts her energy behind missions that further these ideals.

Christine Robinson is responsible for the programs of the Animal Foundation

Christine Robinson is the Executive Director of the Animal Foundation, a private non-profit multi-service agency dedicated to making a difference in the lives of animals in the Las Vegas Valley.

Dr. Robin Ganzert, left and John Payne, Chair of the AHA Board of Directors look on as Patrick Park receives an award for his philanthropic activities

Dinner Chairs Bruce and Barbara Lee Woollen graciously opened their spacious home for this outstanding event because they are proud to add The American Humane Association to their long list of philanthropic work. “Each year, American Humane Association works to protect more than 400 million children and animals and helps our nation's military families cope with the impact of service. We can not think of a more worthy cause to support.”

Frankie Moreno delighted the crowd as he sang and played the keyboard with the blinking lights of the Las Vegas Valley behind him and his group

Entertainment was provided by one of Las Vegas' shining stars, musician/singer Frankie Moreno, pianist Lola Astanova, and classical guitarist Eric Castro. Caiatlin Comesky sang and provided guests with some comedy.  Carol Conners who entertained at the Friday Tea for the organization, found herself at the piano singing and playing before the evening ended.

Frankie Moreno, Stratosphere headliner, right, enjoyed spending some time with performer/singer/song writter Carol Connors and LV personality Johnathan Scott

Lola Astanova, renowned concert pianist charmed the attendees

Lola Astanova is a winner of the prestigious Vladimir Horowitz Distinguished Artist Award and has played at Carnegie Hall. She performed with legendary American pianist Byron Janis at his Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony in New York.

Eric Castro, a Baritone soloist has performed in opera, concert and oratorio

Congressman Joe Heck presented “Yogi, a 6 month old Chihuahua to Amesh Patel, right, who had the winning bid

Two special highlights of the evening were the auctions of a ride in an Air Force Jet which fetched a winning bid of $2,000 and the auction of a small breed dog which was purchased by Amesh Patel. Mr. Patel purchased the dog because he said, “My other dog needs company.”

Maria Kessel, left, a member of the AHA National Leadership Advisory Council chatted with Lois Pope, Honorary Chair of the Council and member of the AHA Board of Directors and entertainer Marty Allen

Lorenzo Aranda, a Reservist in the Army National Guard, spoke to Frankie Moreno about the holistic benefits of placing dogs with veterans who suffer from PTSD

Dr. Robin Ganzert, left, visited with Yana Syrkin of Fifi & Romeo, a Los Angeles shop known for it's glitz, style and glamour for our four legged friends

Christie Richards, Corbin Jones, Jasmine Villamor, and George Duerr, far right, told us that Dirty Tequila is infused with six different flavors

Las Vegas legends Siegfried and Roy also lent their star power on behalf of the charitable events. They attended the Friday afternoon tea at the Bellagio which included a silent auction and a fashion show with women, men, children, and animals.

Christine Lefkowitz, Tia Fassett, Richard Luke, Diana Geoffrion, and Ruben Sanchez all agreed that it was a night to remember.

Proceeds from both events will establish a disaster preparedness program for the rescue of animals in Nevada and American Humane Association’s program benefitting our military veterans through the healing power of animal-assisted therapy.

Two of Dr. Robin Ganzert's three children, Aiden and Robert, attended with their aunt and uncle Ben and Renee McCoy.

Lois Pope glowed as her birthday cake was set in front of her. Ms. Pope is one of America's leading philanthropists

Members of the Host Committee included Jaki Baskow, Bob Benzo, Lisa Bobak, Lynette Chappell, Mayor Andy A. Hafen, Eileen Hayes, congressman Joe Heck and Lisa Heck, Dorothy Huffey, Sally Kimball, Christian w. Kolberg, Jeanne marie Korn, Ken and Dianne Merkey, Cheryl Purdue, David Rangel, Laurence Ring, Esq. And Caren Caty, PhD, and Jim and Beverly Rogers.

For more information, call 866-242-1877, email [email protected], or visit the American Humane Society website.

Photos by Dianne R. Davis or Burt Davis 

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