A decade is a long time; ten years to be precise. And that’s a milestone worth celebrating. Apparently the powers that be at The Calida Group agree; because to celebrate their company’s tenth anniversary, co-Founders Douglas Eisner and Eric Cohen decided to takeover Rose.Rabbit.Lie at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, and throw a visually stunning celebration, highlighted by a Friar’s Club-style roast of Cohen. More of a surprising party than a surprise-party, per se; a night of hilarity and hijinks ensued.
Invited guests delighted to the antics of classic carnival folk - a bearded lady, one of the world’s tallest men, jugglers, contortionists – as well as risqué balloon art, lipstick readings by Joan Dukore, and photo-ops with Bob the Mermaid.
And while the eye-candy was dazzling, the highlight of the evening was definitely the roast. And being of the “Go big, or go home” school, they hired the Friars’ Roastmaster General, himself, Jeff Ross, to do the roasting; with some very able assists from, among others, Cohen’s mother, Sheila, who lamented “Giving birth to Eric ruined my vagina… And from what I understand, he’s ruined every vagina he’s come into contact with, since!” (Rock on, Eric’s mom!)
Now, lest you think the evening consisted entirely of strippers and dick jokes (which were plentiful, I assure you. One even came with a slideshow - lending that particular dick joke a contemporary, multimedia vibe); there was one serious (albeit upbeat) moment, whence Eisner announced the formation of the Elysian Living Foundation.
You see, in lieu of gifts, Messrs. Cohen and Eisner asked their guests to go online to the newly established Elysian Living Foundation's website, and enroll in the program, that gives back to the local Las Vegas community. With half of the funds earmarked for the Las Vegas arm of Habitat for Humanity, the remaining fifty percent will be participant-directed; so the donors'll have the ability to steer the monies toward the cause(s) they care about, most. And since The Calida Group is footing all of the operational and administrative costs, every dollar donated goes directly to charity. Pretty cool, huh?
Eisner (in all seriousness), described the impetus for the party, thusly, "10 years ago on his birthday, my business partner, Eric Cohen, and I left our corporate jobs and started The Calida Group, at an extremely difficult time in the marketplace. Today, we are one of the largest community builders in the state; but we could not have done it alone. In honor of this town, and the people who have continued to support us, we decided it was time to give back to the city that has given us so much."
For two nice Jewish boys (one of whom identifies as an “over-circumcised metrosexual” whose favorite color is “sparkle”) I think that’s pretty fantastic. And guests of the Social Gal-produced event – including Luxor headliner, Carrot Top; and pin-up turned hospitality impresario, Claire Sinclair – concurred, wholeheartedly; applauding Calida’s trademark blend of irreverence and fun. Eisner might’ve best summed up their philosophy, when laughingly describing their communities – “You might love it, or you might hate it; but ignore it? Never.” And check 'em out on the Instagrams (@ElysianLiving), for further examples of things you'll be unable to ignore!
The Calida Group
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