Las Vegas Salutes the Spirit of America

November 06, 2001 3:29 AM
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Stars from all the Las Vegas Strip hotels will perform together for the first time in a benefit for the USO. The Veteran’s Day (Sunday) celebration will be at 2 p.m. in the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Tickets are $25.

The initial stars committed to perform are (in alphabetical order) Bill Acosta, Bob Anderson, Lance Burton, Clint Holmes, Wayne Newton, the Scintas, Siegfried & Roy and Earl Turner.

Clint Holmes and Frank Scinta started making calls to fellow artists the day following the September 11 terrorist attacks. “We wanted to do something to show Las Vegas cares; that it had a heart,” said Holmes. “There was immediate support from everyone we contacted.”

“At first, we wanted to aid the victims and their families, but then we saw the unbelievable support and assistance given to them,” explained Scinta. “There were lots of suggestions and when Wayne (Newton) came aboard, he told us about the needs of the USO. We believe we are going to be the first to show support of the USO that ”˜delivers America’ to our troops.”

The next challenge was how to get a venue to join the cause and get the lowest event budget possible. Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino came to the forefront with total support, donating everything involved with holding the concert.

“Just about everyone has heard about the USO, but few, especially the younger generation, know what it does,” said Newton, who departs on another USO tour the night of the concert. “Though it’s been assisting our troops for 60 years, it is not a government agency, but a non-profit organization supported by private citizens and corporations.” General John H. Tilelli, Jr., USA (Ret), President and CEO of USO Worldwide Operations also attended the press conference.

“All the proceeds from the benefit will go to the USO Centers, which receive nearly 5 million visits from service members and their families each year,” continued Newton. “With our country at war, the number will rise dramatically.”

“For everybody on this stage, Las Vegas is not only a place to perform, it is home,” said Siegfried & Roy in a prepared statement. “We may be the ones on stage, but for all of us this is a community event. We know all our friends and families will be at this special performance.”