Hospice-care, whether provided in-home or at a dedicated center, is one of those things that nobody likes to talk about, but sooner or later, everyone must. And at the end of the day, it costs – a lot. So I am honored each year, when I’m asked to sit on the committee for the annual ‘Flair for Care’ luncheon, benefiting the Nathan Adelson Hospice Foundation.
You see, one of the things that Nathan Adelson Hospice does, that I find especially honorable, is its policy of never turning anyone away who requests hospice care – regardless of that individual’s ability to pay. As a result, more than $1 million annually is provided in uncompensated care.
My dear friend Cari Marshall took to the podium and spoke from the heart, about her late mother, Jayne and the pivotal role Hospice played in her final days. To this day, Jayne Marshall remains one of my all-time favorite Las Vegans, not (just) because she arrived at the opening of the Fabergé exhibit at the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art wearing a genuine Fabergé icon around her neck (although that was what sealed the deal, for me); but because Jayne had a heart infinitely bigger than that icon, welcomed me to this city with open-arms, and had a smart, sassy wit that I simply adored. Not coincidentally, Cari’s father, Art (a real mensch, he’s another fave) had just joined Hospice’s Board of Directors, and was present at the luncheon. Such a sweet family – I just love ‘em.
So, that’s the “care” part of the afternoon; and as for the “flair” – well that’s a whole other ball of wax. To start, designer Monique Lhuillier presented her FW14 collection that was at once bold and mysterious, dark and feminine, and featured bright bursts of shocking pink and sparkly Lurex, mixed-in with the laser-cut leather, organza, and silk.
I’ve known Monique for about a decade (ever she and her husband, Tom Bugbee, went with Gaia Guidi Filipi and me, to the 2004 Rodeo Drive Walk of Style honoring Tom Ford). When I ran over to compliment her on the collection, she voiced concerns, worried that the showing might have been too Goth and dark for the Las Vegas ladies; but I told her to put those fears in a box (“to the left, to the left”), because this city is all about cocktail, cocktail, and more cocktail. I also told her that, in my totally biased opinion that the ratio of wearable-to-whimsy leaned much more toward the former than the latter (which makes for happy customers).
After the last model came-out, and Monique had taken her bows, insult-comic (and longtime friend of Hospice) Brad Garrett came out, gave us his best runway moves (not half bad…), and proceeded to slay us all with his high-octane no-holds-barred brand of humor.
Finally, to conclude the afternoon’s festivities, fashion correspondent Steven “Cojo” Cojocaru (with whom I’d worked when co-producing PAPER’s 2003 Fall Fashion issue, in which a portrait of the fashionista, wearing a Danilo-styled platinum-blonde bouffant wig, was shot, at the Liberace Museum) drew the final raffle items, and made certain that the day (which can run a bit morose) ended on a note of levity.
2014 ‘Flair for Care’ luncheon benefiting Nathan Adelson Hospice Foundation
Wynn Las Vegas
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Get into it!