Tag: las vegas locals

#Chefs4Vegas Host a Fresh Food Drive Weekly for Locals

Local Las Vegas Chefs and their families come together weekly to distribute fresh foods to Las Vegas local and neighboring communities.

The kindness shown by Las Vegas locals has only grown since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Locals are taking time out of their days to come out and make sure that community members have essential food items. 

Chefs4Vegas is a recently formed group of local chefs that organize weekly food distributions to support the Las Vegas community.  Thanks to a grant from the USDA, Get Fresh, a local produce vendor built 25 pound boxes of fresh produce to compliment the partnership with Chefs4Vegas. On distribution days,  deliveries are made by 8am for the event to start promptly at 9am. This weekly event is set to serve up to 300 families in a drive by, contactless setting.

Volunteers handing out children’s coloring books

“Our overall goal is to help our community through the best way chefs know how, through food.” Said Chef Jon Batista, President of Chefs4Vegas and owner of the Your Panadas food truck. 

To date, Chefs4Vegas has delivered over 15,000 boxes (188 tons) of fresh produce to churches, community centers, families, and other key sites experiencing food insecurities.

Chefs4Vegas has now been granted a 501c3, which acknowledged them as a full-fledged non-profit organization. Recognized by Clark County Commissioner, Tick Segerblom, the chefs were awarded a proclamation as a testament to the dedication of the entire group helping locals in a time of crisis. 

June 24th was another big day for Chefs4Vegas as they traveled to McGill, Nevada to set up a food pantry for that community. They served over 1,200 community members including members in Ely and White Pine County. 

The novel Coronavirus disease, COVID-19 is creating an evolving situation with varied impacts felt in our city and around the world. That being said, it is crucial that organizations like Chefs4Vegas continue to carry out these charitable events. 

Please support their initiative by following them on social media and donating to their mission.

Please share your comments about Chefs4Vegas and their supportive efforts in the comment section below.

Las Vegas Locals Stand Against Injustice

Las Vegas locals gather at Kianga Isoke Palacio Park to stand and speak up for lives ended by police brutality and racism.

For centuries, a countless number of innocent black lives have been taken from their families and communities due to authority brutality, hate and carelessness. Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin and many, many more armless lives are gone but not forgotten. 

Throughout the city of Las Vegas, community members are coming together to show their support to end the unfair practices of the American criminal justice system. These practices punish and kill black and brown community members at a higher rate than white counterparts for crimes that rarely differ.

“It’s so important for us to be having these conversations: all of us. It’s time for all of our voices to be heard, with change and justice as the result.” Says Kiana K., event attendee.

Minister Vance “Stretch” Sanders organized a standing rally of community members at Kianga Isoke Palacio Park also known as Doolittle Park on the historic westside of Las Vegas. This rally then led to a candlelight vigil remembering those who have lost their lives to racism and police brutality. 

Locals from different cultural backgrounds came together to bring awareness to the long suffering and discriminating behavior imposed on black members in society. They celebrated black culture with the singing of the Black National Anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing, a viewing of traditional African drumming and dancing, and a tap dance presentation.

Community speakers came to share their voice and encouragement, including former Nevada Assemblyman, Gene Collins

Waters and snacks were distributed to event attendees during the 93 degree weather protest. 

Minister Stretch spoke of the goal to convince state officials to sign a bill that charges, convicts and fires officers that use excessive force during civil confrontations. 

Every voice within the community lends a push for change. This peaceful protest/vigil was a clear demonstration of progress to achieving these goals, but it does not stop here.

What is your contribution or thoughts on the #BlackLivesMatter cause within our community?

Three Square Keeps Las Vegas Locals Fed During Pandemic

Three Square strives to feed the community of Las Vegas during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Coronavirus has taken a toll on the world, but Las Vegas locals will not let this pandemic stop the good works of keeping our community solid. In mid-March Three Square Food Bank implemented an Emergency Food Distribution Strategy in response to COVID-19

In an effort to serve as many community members as possible, Three Square collaborated with select agency partners and volunteers located in key regions throughout Las Vegas Valley. These volunteers assisted with the distribution of food at 40 emergency food distribution sites.  Palace Station was one of these sites! 

Photo credit: @JeffScheid

Starting March 11, Three Square implemented a disaster response plan to address the following: school and business closures, drastic declines in retail food donations, social distancing limitations on volunteer efforts, reduced on-site staff support, and the need for low-contact food distributions. These strategies were put in place to make sure that the Las Vegas community still had access to food during these uncertain times.

Photo credit: @JeffScheid

The Nevada National Guard was also called to respond and help Three Square with their initiatives. Soldiers helped direct traffic as cars lined up to receive their goods.

There have been a number of changes since that time, including the number of emergency food distribution sites as well as locations, hours and dates of operation. A current updated list of distribution sites can be found at three square.org/help. 

Since the beginning, Three Square has increased weekly food distribution from 1 million pounds to 1.3 million pounds—the equivalent of 250,000 meals per week. With nearly 30,000 calls to the Three Square call center, about 6.5 million meals have been distributed since March 16th.

Photo credit: @JeffScheid

Three Square is a Southern Nevada food bank that brings together the resources, the experience and the passion of the people and businesses of Southern Nevada to make sure children, individuals and seniors receive the food they need. 

Three Square has created a Coronavirus Emergency Food Fund to help them remain nimble in responding to food assistance needs across the valley. For more information on how you can donate to the Three Square Coronavirus Emergency Food Fund, please visit threesquare.org or call at (702) 644-3663.

Please share your comments about Three Square’s service to the community in the comment section below.

Las Vegas Locals Show Support for Burn Victims

Las Vegas locals support the Nevada Burn Foundation to help send local kids to Burn Camp.

On Saturday May 30th, Las Vegas locals gathered at Sunrise Coffee with the Firefighters of Southern Nevada Burn Foundation to support burn victims around the city. The community showed their support to the Nevada Burn Foundation’s mission to send burn-injured children to Burn Camp this summer. To support this initiative, the Nevada Burn Foundation, Sunrise Coffee, and Mothership Coffee Roasters hosted a pop-up event called, Coffee for a Cause. 

Volunteer firefighters from around the Las Vegas Valley served coffee, shared a coffee with patrons, and helped sell the official specialty Burn Foundation coffee bag packaged by Mothership Coffee Roasters. The community showed their support by attending curbside or dining in. All proceeds of the coffee bag sales are sent to the Burn Foundation. The Burn Foundation is represented by all fire departments in Southern Nevada. These proceeds will send children to Burn Camp this summer.  

Burn Camp, also known as Camp Beyond the Scars is a camp for kids throughout Southern Nevada and Southern California. This one week camp supports kids that have been burned in fire-related incidents. It helps kids see beyond their own scars by learning who they are on the inside and that they are not just the scars that cover their bodies. The camp includes archery, swimming, group interaction, a ropes course and many other activities towards growth and facing their fears.

Each year, the UMC Burn Center helps hundreds of families heal from their fire injuries and trauma. While someone’s insurance may cover most of their physical rehabilitation, it oftentimes does not help these people reintegrate with their normal lives.

Later this year the Burn Foundation is also preparing for its annual Firefighter Auction. The auction raises funds for their Burn Survivor Initiative, which provides support for families, children, and individuals through burn injuries and catastrophes. 

For more information about the Burn Foundation’s Burn Survivor Initiative visit nvburn.org/rise 

Please share your comments about Coffee for a Cause in the comment section below.

Las Vegas Locals Help Rise Against Hunger!

To kick off 2020, the Summerlin Rotary Club partnered with Rise Against Hunger to organize a meal packaging event at Mountain View Presbyterian Church providing meals to children overseas at.

Each meal consists of a combination of rice, soy, dry veggies and nutritional packets. An assembly line and stations are organized by a Rise Against Hunger representative to monitor and ensure sanitation and precision for each meal.

This event is providing meals for two hundred and twenty-six days a year and guarantees that these children are getting fed. Meals are distributed through schools and orphanages primarily in seventy-four countries within Africa and Central America. 

“If a child is not being fed, the last thing on their mind would be learning something.” Says event organizer, Robert Bridel. “Their mind is focused on where their next meal is coming from”.

Robert Bridel – Event Organizer

This event is an international benefit to hunger with a community effort to support. It gives  people who want to feed hungry children a hands on opportunity to come together for the global cause.This initiative is very hands-on and kids are encouraged to participate. Children age 5 and up can participate in Rise Against Hunger’s meal packaging program. There are a variety of jobs throughout the assembly line process that can accommodate young children and people with special needs.

Rise Against Hunger is an international hunger relief organization that distributes food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable, mobilizing the necessary resources to end hunger by 2030. 

Rise Against Hunger meal packaging volunteers produce millions of nutritious meals annually that are then distributed to partners in countries around the world. Rise Against Hunger ensures the distributed meals are used as a tool to change lives by promoting education, improving students’ health and nutrition, addressing gender inequalities, stimulating economic growth and fighting child labor.

“This event is one of the most exciting things to be a part of.” Says attendee, Jim F. “It’s a lot of fun and it makes a difference in the world. We have people from every walk of life here. People read about it in the media and just showed up to help and be a part of a great event, there’s well over one-hundred people here. 

By providing an immensely fulfilling, impactful and fun experience for volunteers, this event serves as a platform to educate people about hunger, what they can do about it, and to inspire them to take further action. 

Please share your thoughts about Las Vegas local efforts to decrease world hunger.

Las Vegas Locals Experience Caribbean Culture

Local Las Vegans were invited to the Arts District Downtown Las Vegas to experience the Carribean Carnival festival like Vegas has never seen before.

The Carribean Carnival consisted of a daybreak party called Jaboulay (J’ouvert or Jouvay) and a parade of the bands the next day. Event organizer, Kelly Ann Wilson and her team were born and raised on the island of Trinidad and believe that it is a great idea to share their culture with fellow Las Vegas locals. Whether a Carribean islander or not, everyone is welcome to enjoy the Carnival festivities right inside their own neighborhood. 

“It is something to look forward to for those who cannot travel back home for the actual Carnival festival and for those who may not know our culture.” Says organizer, Kelly Ann Wilson. “Interested Locals can also come and experience a taste of our Carribean culture.” 

J’ouvert is also known as, Jouvay a word that is derived from the French phrase “jour ouvert,” which means daybreak or morning. In traditional Caribbean cultures, the parade starts early in the morning and signals the start of the bacchanalia that is Carnival. So, essentially, it is a party from dawn to dusk. Jouvay is celebrated in many countries throughout the Caribbean. Traditionally, the celebration involves Soca and Calypso music bands, dancers and attendees following each band, parading through the streets. The festival starts well before dawn and peaks a few hours after sunrise.

The roots of Jouvert in Trinidad go back over 200 years to 1783, with the arrival of French plantation owners. The French never colonised Trinidad, however elements of their culture remain. Carnival was introduced to Trinidad during slavery. Slaves were not allowed to attend the masquerade balls of the French so they would stage their own version of carnival in their backyards using their own rituals and folklore. They practiced imitating and sometimes mocking their masters’ behavior at the masquerade balls.

The origins of street parties associated with J’ouvert coincide with the emancipation from slavery in 1838. Emancipation gave Africans the opportunity to not only participate in Carnival, but to embrace it as an expression of their newfound freedom. 

The traditions of J’ouvert vary widely throughout the Caribbean. In Trinidad, Tobago and Grenada, a part of the tradition involves smearing paint, powder, mud or oil on the bodies of participants known as “Jab Jabs”. This is called playing mud. 

“Jaboulay is an expression of freedom. Pick up the paint, hop on the dance floor, be free and release.” Says organizer, Kelly Ann Wilson. “Jaboulay is a taste of home that we are trying to keep and stay true to. If you’re coming out and you want to have true, nice, clean fun with great music and culture. J’ouvert is where to be!”

J’ouvert or Jouvay is at the heart of Trinidad carnival, and is also celebrated in other Eastern Caribbean islands. The Las Vegas Caribbean weekend was just a taste of the actual events that take place in their homelands. It is the hope of many Las Vegas islanders that their culture will and become more known in the Vegas areas.

Please share your comments about J’ouvert in the comment section below.

Local Las Vegas High School Students Prepare for the Future

Clark County students participate in the 3rd Annual Las Vegas College and Career Fair presented by the College Access Group.

This October, local Las Vegas High school students arrived at Valley High School to learn about some of the many college and career and possibilities for their futures. They spoke with professionals with experience in careers within the National Basketball League (NBA), medical field, U.S. Marines, U.S. Army, music industry, and more. These students left with the message that there are multiple avenues toward success.

The College Access Program’s mission in creating this program was to build an environment for any student to feel welcome whether they decide to attend college or not. It not only shows students about their college options, but career options as well. 

Jerome Williams and scholarship recipients.

The College Access Group also partnered with Jerome Williams, former NBA player, and the National Basketball Retired Players Association. Scholarships are also available to high school seniors specifically for HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). Jerome attended the event and answered many of the students’ questions on what it takes to succeed within professional basketball and throughout life. 

The Las Vegas College and Career Fair allows colleges and professional organizations to come to the students. College counselors were also in attendance to help students find a pathway toward college.

This years’ employers attended the event looking for future interns, apprentices, and students searching for positions during or right after high school. Cane’s restaurant sponsored the event and even allowed students to fill out job applications on the spot.

“It is very important for all students to know that they may attend this event and learn of the many career opportunities that they can go to right out of high school or after their college careers.” Says Kirk Williams, the event organizer and founder. “This event is one of the most unique, energetic, innovative, information rich, post-secondary educational events in the country.” 

House of Blues – Music Forward Foundation

“Many students are told to go to college and finish to receive a degree to get a job. College is important, but it’s not for everyone.” Says Kirk Williams. “In our local community our goal is to open students’ awareness up to more opportunities that may best suit them on their journeys.”

There are two events per year. The next Las Vegas College and Career Fair event will be in April 2020. 

Share your thoughts about college and career readiness in Las Vegas in the comment section below.

Las Vegas Locals Learn to Make their Own Brand of Wine!

During October, around 5,000 guests visit the Vegas Valley Winery to learn about and create a barrel of their very own homemade wine.

*FYI: No feet are used to crush grapes, there are machines for that!

Every October, wine enthusiasts gather in Henderson, NV at the Vegas Valley Winery, the first and only winery in the Las Vegas Valley. This year 300 guests participated daily in the crushing, fermentation and barreling process of their very own brand of wine. Over the course of 28 days starting from noon until midnight, visitors attend Grape Expectations Las Vegas, the only winemaking school of its kind in town. Here they learned the ins and outs and participated in making wine with professional sommeliers.

8-10 guests, brand new and experienced alike form a group to make a barrel; which consists of 240 bottles of wine. They split the cost and come to a consensus of what type of wine they’re going to make. Staff at the Vegas Valley Winery make it fun and fair to choose. Each group member brings a bottle of wine to taste for a goal of duplicating the winning bottle to begin the process.

It takes nine months to process going until the wine is at its finest. Not only do they make the wine, they design and print their own labels as well.

Fun Fact: every household in America is allowed two barrels of wine, per person per year for their own personal use, tax free.

At the Vegas Valley Winery, visitors create homemade wine in a professional area and the tools are handled by professional winemakers.

“It is homemade wine made professionally in a common environment.” Says KJ, The Professor. “That means you’re not doing it in a bathtub, it’s the real deal.”

KJ “The Professor” – The Science of Wine class

The founder of the Grape Expectations Wine School, is a very well known food and beverage connoisseur in Las Vegas, named Charlie Peters. He thought it would be a great idea to start a wine school in the area. It took a lot of work and time to come to fruition, but it has become a true gem and one of a kind experience within the city.

Vegas Valley Winery’s tasting room is the evolution of their sister business next door, Grape Expectations. The doors opened on December 8th, 2017. It was not only made possible due to the hard work of Grape Expectations & Vegas Valley Winery staff, but also due to the tremendous support of loyal winemakers. 

During the year, many events take place within the Vegas Valley Winery, from wine and yoga, to wine and painting, to live music, and much more! Click here to find out about upcoming events.

You may book a tour of the winery or enjoy a taste of Nevada made wine at the wine bar. It is an intimate atmosphere for a unique and special date night, social meeting and even a book club or card club meeting. Stop by and explore today!

Please share your thoughts about the Vegas Valley Winery and the winemaking process in the comment section below.

Las Vegas Locals Celebrate Oktoberfest!

Las Vegas Locals come for family fun and experience the one and only replica of the Great Hofbrauhaus located in Munich, Germany.

Cheering and standing on benches with a liter of beer in hand is only part of the great experience and atmosphere of being at the Las Vegas Hofbrauhaus. 

The Hofbrauhaus is an authentic German/Bavarian restaurant experience and is ideal for Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest lasts for the month of October where celebrity keg tappings are held every Friday and Saturday with drinking contests, Steinholding contests, live music and spankings. 

Oktoberfest was born from the most successful wedding in Bavarian history. In October of 1810, Crown Prince Ludwig was set to marry Princess Therese of Sachsen-Hildburghausen. In true royal fashion, this was not your average wedding. No expense was spared by the father of the groom, King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria. Ludwig and Therese’s wedding was a massive celebration with a 40,000-person guest count, free-flowing beer and a 36,000-foot horse race in a large meadow just outside of town.

The celebration was deemed the reception of the century. In fact, everything was so successful that Ludwig decided that a horse race should be held the following year in conjunction with the state agricultural show. Taverns and “eating houses” were also allowed to provide tempting fare; among them was the original Hofbräuhaus. 

Voila! Oktoberfest was born! 

Two years after the wedding, the royal brewers created a beer especially for the festival. With a deep golden color and higher alcohol content, the world-famous Oktoberfestbier from Hofbrau Mϋnchen made its mark on history. 

Today, Ludwig’s and Therese’ anniversary is still celebrated all over the world by thousands of guests and, of course, beer! The horse races ended in 1960 but, as they say, the show must go on.

As the first and only replica of the original Hofbrauhaus in Munich, Germany, there is no better place to celebrate Oktoberfest than the Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas.

“This is a great, authentic event.” Says attendee, Andrew B. “I spent 12 years in Germany and it’s spot on.”

Tony Sinzger and his partners Stefan Gastager, Klaus Gastager, and Franz Krondorfer came to Las Vegas in 2002. They started the building construction in 2003 and finished in January 2004. Their goal was to replicate the famous House in Munich in the entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas. To make this happen, they had to negotiate with the Bavarian government for the license to create the replica. The main dining room is the exact same as the first room in Munich. It sits 850 visitors. 

“We are very proud. Our goal was to make the Las Vegas Hofbrauhaus as authentic as possible and I think we achieved that, “Hofbrauhaus owner, Tony Sinzger. “People come and have so much fun. Seeing the smiles on their faces gives me so much satisfaction.”

Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas imports its Hofbrau beer directly from Munich, Germany. This beer is brewed according to the Purity Law of 1516, there are no chemicals or additives. There are only 4 ingredients allowed: Water, hops, yeast and barley. The beer that millions of people enjoy at Oktoberfest in Munich can also be enjoyed at Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas which is the only establishment in Las Vegas where it is offered. 

This is a communal dining experience where people can sit with 10 or more people that they may not know and enjoy the festivities. 

“People come in, they don’t know each other but after 2-3 liters of beer they make friends.” Says Hofbrauhaus owner, Tony. “There is no restaurant in Las Vegas where you can stand on the benches while cheering loudly with the band, it is very unique.”

The beer, the food and the atmosphere are what make celebrating Oktoberfest at Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas so special!

Share your comments about Oktoberfest in the comment section below.

Las Vegas Locals Attend the Fashion Event of the Fall!

Las Vegas local fashion enthusiasts share their passion at the 3rd Annual Las Vegas Style & Fashion Event.

What truly brings light, life and color to a city? Why, fashion of course!

This Fall, Blazzian Collection produced the 3rd Annual Style & Fashion event. This event featured nine, new and seasoned, fashion designers from Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Salt Lake City with their latest designs worn by gorgeous out of town and local Las Vegas runway models.

The very first Style & Fashion was held at the Hard Rock Cafe, downtown Detroit which showcased local designers and models. The first show’s proceeds benefited the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Michigan. In 2017, Debra Storey introduced the Style & Fashion LV event creating a hub of Las Vegas sass,  dance, fashion and music. 

Organized and produced by owner and designer, Debra Storey, this event  brings creatives together to showcase their skills and talents while serving a great cause within the community.

Debra Storey – Event Organizer (Right) JoJo Andrews – Assistant (Left)

This year’s event proceeds were allocated to Safe Nest. Safe Nest is an organization within Las Vegas that confidentially protects the interests of victims and survivors of relationship abuse, by creating programs and building awareness, and providing victims and survivors with the tools to create a new future.

Designers at this year’s Style & Fashion LV event: 

Debra Storey- Blazzian Collection Las Vegas
Rosemarie Macklin- Si Mee Collections Las Vegas
Angelina Lane- ZDDL Las Vegas
Latoya Hooks- Haute Life Plus Las Vegas
Keykeanna Jeter- Key Kouture Las Vegas
Tasheila Byrd- Saucey Tee Las Vegas
Gustavo- Daniel Gram Fashions – Salt Lake City
Stephanie Van Burk- Los Angeles
Olivia Armstread- OSW Swimwear San Francisco

Kekoa Javellana – Model

“This was my first show and it was a bit of an adrenaline rush.” Says model, Kekoa Javellana. “It’s always amazing to see natural beauty caught on camera and to do it myself was an amazing experience to tell my future kids one day.”

Cassandra Lucas – Changing Faces

In addition, Celebrity Singer, Songwriter Cassandra Lucas from the Multi-Platinum duo Changing Faces performed her new dance single; Higher. Cassandra Lucas sang and entertained the crowd while models in Blazzian Collection pieces were on stage!

This fun filled performance was followed up with a good old fashioned Soul Train Line where all the models, performers, designers and attendees formed a tunnel and showed off their favorite dance moves.

Any Las Vegas locals with the passion for fashion should attend this event next year or team up with Debra Storey by contacting StyleAndFashionLV@gmail.com.

Share your comments about the Las Vegas Style & Fashion event in the comment section below.