On Saturday, December 2 the Las Vegas Community rallied together for the 13th annual Las Vegas Great Santa Run, benefiting beloved local organization Opportunity Village.
Met by a sea of Kris Kringle lookalikes, Grand Marshal Holly Madison and Honorary Chairman Wayne Newton joined the Las Vegas Great Santa Run to welcome participants to another exciting year.
Following a high-energy Zumba warm-up, hosts introduced an array of special guests including acclaimed male revue stars The Chippendales; Opportunity Village Vice President of Philanthropy Adam Joseph; Opportunity Village President and CEO Bob Brown; and Mayor Carolyn Goodman and husband Oscar Goodman.
Donned in full Santa suits, 5K runners and walkers enjoyed energetic performances from Opportunity Village’s all Elvis dance troupe OV Elvi and singer George Dare with “Run, Santa Run.” Additionally, showgirl and entertainer Gabriella Versace from SEXXY got everyone in a holiday spirit with “What Christmas Means to Me.” Mr. and Mrs. Claus also serenaded the crowd with “White Christmas.”
Madison and Newton greeted the energetic runners and led the crowd in a JEEP sponsored by SAHARA Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram to the start line for the 5K. After a jolly performance by Lorena Peril of FANTASY and a traditional countdown with confetti showers, thousands of Santas were off as they made their way through Downtown Las Vegas. From there, The Chippendales led the rest of the crowd to the 1-mile Kris Kringle Jingle Walk. Celebrations commenced after the race as participants were given commemorative Santa medals.
About Las Vegas Great Santa Run
The Las Vegas Great Santa Run is Opportunity Village’s largest annual fundraiser and to date and has raised millions of dollars toward the charity’s support of more than 2,000 individuals with intellectual disabilities in the Las Vegas Valley. For more information, visit their website.
About Opportunity Village
Opportunity Village is a not-for-profit organization that serves people within our community with significant intellectual disabilities, to improve their lives and the lives of their families. Seven families who were determined to give their children with disabilities the best lives possible founded Opportunity Village in 1954. Now, more than 60 years later, Opportunity Village is one of the most recognized and respected organizations of its type in the United States. As Nevada’s largest employer of people with disabilities, Opportunity Village serves more than 2,000 individuals annually, providing vocational training, employment, habilitation and social recreation programs and services that make their lives more purposeful and interesting. Opportunity Village citizens – individuals who were previously considered unemployable – work at Opportunity Village’s Employment Resource Centers and in jobs throughout the community, collectively earning wages amounting to more than $3.7 million in 2016. They are hard-working and diligent, proudly paying taxes and happily leading more fulfilling lives. Primarily a self-funded organization, Opportunity Village generates the majority of its operational funding through its employment contracts and fundraising efforts such as the Magical Forest and Great Santa Run, saving Nevada taxpayers more than $37 million annually. Learn more at their website.