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Association of Fundraising Professionals LV Chapter hosts Award Luncheon


The Association of Fundraising Professionals Las Vegas Chapter hosts

20th annual Philanthropy Awards Luncheon

Keynote speaker Richard Bryan to help honor locals for their community service


The Las Vegas Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) will host its 20th annual Philanthropy Awards Luncheon on Friday, Nov. 18 to honor a special group of locals for their service and commitment to the Las Vegas community.


“It takes a special person to take the time to give back to the community, so it is something that should be honored and cherished,” said Gina Hines, the 2011 National Philanthropy Day Chairperson and Director of Development for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.


Keynote speaker and former US Senator and Governor Richard Bryan will help honor the extraordinary citizens who have gone above and beyond for others in the community. As a native Nevadan Bryan takes an active role in looking out for the Las Vegas community.


Bryan focuses his career on government relations and helping local businesses flourish as he currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Nevada Development Authority to bring more businesses to Nevada. He is one who knows what it takes to truly serve the community.


The Philanthropy Awards Luncheon will be appropriately held on National Philanthropy Day to recognize a select group of individuals who have proven their loyalty to Las Vegas through community service.


The Outstanding Philanthropist award will be given to Glenn Christenson, a leader in the community. As the current managing director of Velstand Investments, LLC and one who serves on the Board of Directors of NV Energy, Inc. Christenson has a background in finances and investor relations.


After working in business in Las Vegas for 39 years, Christenson has quite the commitment to the community and he has been recognized for that. He recently received the Nevada Society of CPAs Golden Abacus Award for Lifetime Achievement in Gaming and Lodging Industry.

Christenson was also recently appointed to the Nevada System of Higher Education Chancellor’s Business Roundtable. With his knowledge of the business industry and his devotion to the community, Christenson is recognized as someone who is working hard toward the betterment of Las Vegas.


Chris Cappas will be receiving the award for Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser, which honors a person for exceptional work in fundraising for a non-profit organization. Cappas started mentoring students at Fremont Street Middle School after signing up for the Clark County School District Mentor Program. She also served as a UNLV College Advisory Council member and the UNLV Hotel College Mentor to help students prepare for success in their field.


As the former Vice President of Employment and Training for Caesars Entertainment, Inc. Cappas created a Giving Back to the Community event to help job seekers. Cappas has also helped Goodwill throughout the years while serving as a Goodwill of Southern Nevada board member. In this position she facilitated donation drives for items to be sold to Goodwill.


NV Energy will be accepting the award for Outstanding Corporate/Foundation. The NV Energy Foundation has accumulated $5.4 million for local non-profit organizations and has a commitment to education, employees and seniors.


The company’s loyalty to education is evident as it has awarded $250,000 to UNLV to help create an undergraduate program in sustainable energy. NV Energy has also given $52,000 in scholarships to students pursuing a college degree.


Aside from educational involvement, NV Energy has a campaign called Project REACH, which is a commitment to United Way of Southern Nevada to assist customers with paying for their energy. The company also hosted the Senior energy Assistance Expo in August 2010 to help seniors in the community pay their electric bills.


NV Energy also takes care of its employees through a matching program called Dollars-for-Doers that engages employees and prompts them to volunteer hours through community service projects.


The award given for Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy goes to Ayden Sebastian. At the young age of 7, Sebastian started his work in community service when he decided to turn his seventh birthday party into a fundraiser in which he raised $800.


Sebastian took on his next endeavor after a trip to Shade Tree when he decided to turn his next birthday party into a fundraiser. He ended up raising $600 that he donated to Shade Tree. Only in the third grade, Sebastian continues his birthday fundraisers and his next charity of choice is St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.


The Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to Jeffrey Gordon, the president and CEO of Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation. Gordon turns small actions into major accomplishments that show his big heart, such as when he dresses up as Santa for Christmas to provide a fun times for children in the hospital and their families.


Gordon has been the leader of the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation for the past 15 years and he created The Caring Place Program, which provides health and wellness to adults who have been diagnosed with cancer. His hard work awarded him a 2008 Citizen of Distinction award given to him by former Mayor Oscar Goodman.


These recipients will be honored at the Philanthropy Awards Luncheon on Friday, Nov. 18 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Culinary Training Academy of Nevada Partner’s Campus, located at 710 W. Lake Mead Blvd. Proceeds from the luncheon benefit AFP to promote philanthropy in Las Vegas. Tickets to the event are $60 and can be purchased at or by calling (702) 688-4351 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            (702) 688-4351     end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

About the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Las Vegas Chapter:

As the nation’s largest professional organization for fundraising executives, the Association of Fundraising Professionals strives to promote philanthropy through education, research, certification programs and advocacy. The Las Vegas chapter was founded in 1991 and has close to 100 members. For more information, please visit or call (702) 688-4351.

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