This past few weeks has seen all sorts of fun entries in the charity-go-round, among them Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada’s 10th annual Dessert Before Dinner gala at Caesars Palace; Keep Memory Alive’s first annual Go All In For Memories Charity Poker Tournament, at the Keep Memory Alive Event Center; and Children’s Heart Foundation’s inaugural Hearts for Charitea luncheon, at the Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas.

“You mark my words, Michael Shulman: You’re gonna be outta here, by nine o’clock.”

I gazed at the perennially stylish Peggy Selesner with a feigned look of bemused exasperation, and giggled.  “Okay, Peggy.  I’ll believe it, when I see it,” I replied, before pecking her on the cheek and making my way around the room. 

We were enjoying cocktails at Mr. Chow at Caesars Palace, at the VIP Reception preceding the tenth annual Dessert Before Dinner gala, where a group of ten marvelously accomplished and inspiring Las Vegas women; whose vision, influence, and example define what it means to be a Girl Scout (i.e., leading a life of courage, confidence, and character) – including five friends, two lovely women I I know from around, and a trio of whom I’m delighted to have met – were awarded Honorary Girl Scout Badges in a wonderful array of categories.

Dean duBoef-Roth and Anna Robins were respectively awarded the “Think Big” and “Philanthropist” badges.  To Emily Jillette, Stella Roy, and Stephanie Wilson went the badges for “Trailblazer,” “Ambassador of the Arts,” and “Entrepreneur.”  Katy Jones and Katie O’Neill received the “Advocate for Justice” badge and the “Visionary” badge; with the badges for “Innovator,” “Power of Community,” and “S.T.E.A.M.” being bestowed upon Amy Hooks, Captain Sasha Larkin, and Dr. Candace Spann.

When we were so instructed, everyone made their way over to the Caesars Palace Convention Center, where we joined the part of the evening from which the evening’s name is taken – the titular Desserts being enjoyed before Dinner.  And they were fantastic!  Guests entered the ballroom, and sampled the sweetly mentholated deliciousness that comes from ten of the city’s most talented chefs – including Lorena Garcia from CHICA on The Venetian’s Restaurant Row, Nicole Erle from CUT by Wolfgang Puck at The Palazzo, Wynn Resorts’ Elizabeth Stolarick, and Cynthia Werth of Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower – creating custom desserts featuring the Girl Scouts’ iconic Thin Mint  After tasting to their limit, a green poker chip was placed in a box corresponding with the culinary creation that most pleased your palate, with Lorena Garcia’s Thin Mint Tacos taking the prize.

The curtain was drawn, and the dining room revealed.  People continued mingling, as the Blue Man Group performed; until taking their seats for the dinner service and the presentations.  Sitting with the recently honeymooned Abbie and Jim Snyder, I watched Emily Jillette nimbly backflip off of her horse by way of a dismount, watched Stephanie Wilson let a Girl Scout enact a not-so-hostile takeover of the board room at Wicked Creative, and in Dena duBoef-Roth’s testimonial video, watched a curiously gleeful Girl Scout don a pair of boxing gloves and deliver an uppercut to the chin of Top Rank’s Bob Arum.  (Meanwhile, across the aisle, honoree Anna Robins could be heard shushing her husband David after he leaned over and teasingly uttered sotto voce “See Anna; you can show the videos and serve the food, at the same time!”)

The speeches were the very best kind.  Short.  And the $800,000 raised will directly impact the local Girl Scouts who depend upon financial aid so that they can engage in outdoor activities, life-skills programs, entrepreneurship, and S.T.E.A.M.*  And you know what?  I was in my car, pulling out of the Forum Valet, at roughly 9:15pm (and that’s only because I hung around saying my goodbyes for fifteen minutes)! 

Stay tuned to see what new CEO Kimberly Trueba has up her sleeve, for next year.  Which Girl Scout cookie is she gonna choose, for next year’s dessert competition, I wonder?

Continued in Part 2…

10th annual Dessert Before Dinner gala
Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada

Click HERE for info

Get into it!

[Editor’s Note: *Formerly known as S.T.E.M., S.T.E.A.M. is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math]