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Dianne R. Davis

Dianne R. Davis | Variety Celebrated Oscar Weekend in Las Vegas

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dianne_r_davis_100 By Dianne R. Davis

Variety Celebrated Oscar Weekend in Las Vegas

By Dianne R. Davis
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Shirley Jones Honored with Gold Heart Award

A lot of Oscars were awarded in Hollywood last week at the 84th academy awards, but the most important winner may have been found in Las Vegas.

Variety, The Children's Charity of Southern Nevada, is the recipient of funds raised during Oscar Night Las Vegas. A weekend full of Oscar sanctioned activities from February 24-26, 2012 gave movie and celebrity fans in Las Vegas, the city of entertainment, the chance to see a star studded red carpet, honor a movie icon, and dress up and enjoy the Oscars on Brenden Theatre movie screens at the Palms. There was even an Oscar Night after-party at the famous Playboy Club. “Red Carpet Ready” fashion shows were held at the Fashion Show Mall giving everyone a chance to be a part of the glamour and excitement of the events.

Variety - The Children's Charity was started in 1950 as the “Entertainer's Charity.” It is an enthusiastic group of entertainers and business leaders who donate their time, resources, and energy to positively impact the lives of children in their own communities and around the world. According to President and Chief Barker Kari K. Ayers, “Variety does not serve any one population or fight any one particular disease.” Their mission is to provide funding and services for programs that benefit those in need.

Shirley Jones Honored

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Film Icon Shirley Jones came to town with her spouse of 35 years, the irrepressible Marty Ingels, to accept the Variety Gold Heart Award.

“Variety is pleased to salute Shirley not only as a 50-year-plus Academy Award recipient, but also for an outstanding film, television and stage career, “ said Variety Tent 39 President and Chief Barker Kari Ayers. “She has admirably demonstrated a lifetime commitment to charitable and humanitarian causes.” Jones' husband of 35 years, Marty Ingels spoke of “Shirley Mae Jones of Smithton, Pennsylvania.” When she took him back to her hometown (population 849), people waved at Shirley Mae Jones. “So it occurred to me that I could at any time have let her out of the car and she would have been perfectly happy. She is so is remarkably unchanged by success.” Friend Hal Linden was also on hand to pay his respects to the charming Oscar winner.

As for Jones, her words speak for her. Go back to the moment in 1960 when she was presented with an Oscar as best supporting actress for her role in Elmer Gantry. She accepted the honor saying, “This is the happiest day of my career.” Not life, career. Which brings us to why she chose to go to Las Vegas on Oscar night to accept the award from Variety. “The fact that they said life achievement,” she said.

Shirley Jones is a fabulous actress who has achieved greatness and recognition for her career, but Variety knew what matters. Shirley Jones is the example of a person with a focus on charity, family, friends and humanity. Those are the real achievements.

Bravo to Shirley for the person that she is and bravo to Variety for the work that they do.

Red Carpet Celebrities on Oscar Night

Red Carpet celebrities arrived at the Palms in limos and walked the red carpet which was lined with fans. Some entered the theaters to watch the Brenden's suite where they enjoyed cocktails and hors d'oeuvres and the company of other Variety supporters.

Denna Atkinson, Executive Director of Variety in Southern Nevada, told this reporter that this was Variety's major fund raiser of the year. She is grateful, “ to the generosity of Johnny Brendan and Lee Crane. They gave us this venue in kind and that translates to a higher dollar amount for services for our kids.” Where do the dollars go? I asked. “We provide resources, wheelchairs, bath chairs, money so moms can take the kids to the doctor. Whatever their needs are.” Atkinson also praised the more than 50 volunteers on hand and guessed that at least 50% were Phoenix students. “I teach there and they are my students.” she told me. I asked her about the future. “We will do this event again next year and it will be bigger and better than this year.”

On a personal level, it is gratifying to cover stories such as this one. Las Vegas has been referred to in many ways, Sin City, the Entertainment Capitol of the World, etc. I enjoy letting our readers know that we are also a city of generosity where private industry, entertainers, and the public come together to do good while enjoying our resources. So next year, I'll see you at the Oscars – in Las Vegas.

For further information about Oscar Night America in Las Vegas check out the website, www.onalv.org. To learn more about Variety, the Children's charity of Southern Nevada, and the good work of the organization, go to www.varietysn.org.

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