Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease that steals memories from people, and people from their loved ones. Research into the disease has accelerated in recent years, but there are still many gaps in knowledge and questions about ways to treat or prevent it.
Keep Memory Alive, an organization focused on finding treatments and eventually cures for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other memory-stealing diseases, is holding its 25th annual Power of Love Gala. The Power of Love Gala brings together performers and supporters for a night of fundraising with a goal of furthering research into combatting these neurodegenerative conditions. This year brings together some extra star-powered talent and intriguing auction items as it kicks off at Resorts World Las Vegas for the first time since the resort opened earlier this year.
Gala Star Power Raises Money and Awareness
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Over the weekend, some big names in music gathered together to help raise money and awareness for diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, Multiple System Atrophy and Multiple Sclerosis. Aside from the superstar lineup including Bruno Mars, Demi Lovato, and more, Vegas big shots turned up to support the cause as well. Steven Lagos, jeweler to the stars, Raiders owner Mark Davis, Patrón Spirits Co. Founder John Paul DeJoria, along with “Bar Rescue” star Jon Taffer all turned up to show support.
Delicious eats were provided by Wolfgang Puck and Bobby Flay, and Smokey Robinson and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds received honors. In a statement, organizers share highlights of the evening; “Paying tribute to Edmonds’ massive library of penned songs, Boyz II Men opened the show with a medley of ‘Water Runs Dry,’ ‘I’ll Make Love to You’ and ‘End of the Road,’ before Mars presented the award to Edmonds, calling him his mentor and hero. He shared advice Edmonds had given him for any time he’s recording in the studio, to ‘make sure there’s love in it.’ Keep Memory Alive Founder and Chairman Larry Ruvo thanked Edmonds for his dedicated support of Keep Memory Alive throughout the years.
Edmonds shared his personal tie to Keep Memory Alive, saying, ‘My mother was losing her memory in her last years and there’s nothing more painful than to watch someone you love not remember you.’ He thanked Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health for the support and counsel and for ‘not just working to keep her memory alive, but to keep all of our memories alive.’ Boyz II Men returned to the stage with Lovato and McLean to perform a spectacular rendition of ‘Change the World.’”
When Robinson received his honor, he shared thoughts on why it was so personal to him to be involved as well; “‘It’s an incredible feeling to be up here tonight with my really good friends, most of whom I haven’t seen in a long time.’ He shared his personal experience of dementia, remembering Bobby Rogers of The Miracles, ‘We were born on the same day in the same hospital and sang together for 12 years. Every year on our birthday, we would call each other. He passed away several years ago, and I called him the year he passed, and he had no idea who I was. It’s a horrible disease.’ He expressed his appreciation for Keep Memory Alive, ending with a shout out to Babyface, saying ‘I am flattered and honored you are my brother.’”
CEO & Chairman of Genting Berhad and developer of Resorts World K.T. Lim received a standing ovation when awarded the Keep Memory Alive Community Leadership award, and guests bid on silent and live auction lots. It was a rousing success, and helped fund another year of research into battling these life-stealing diseases.
Power of Love Gala Lineup
This year’s Power of Love Gala really has all the star power they could hope for. Hollywood seems extra motivated to contribute to good causes lately, and its reflected in the star-studded lineup at this year’s benefit:
- Demi Lovato
- AJ McLean
- Bruno Mars
- Boyz II Men
- Kenny Loggins
- Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds
- Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr.
- Jordin Sparks
And guests won’t go hungry. Wolfgang Puck and Bobby Flay, two of the culinary world’s biggest superstars, will be there to dazzle tastebuds. Per the Las Vegas Review Journal, “Tickets to the event are still available at keepmemoryalive.org. Power of Love is the primary fundraiser for Keep Memory Alive, the philanthropic arm of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health at Symphony Park in downtown Las Vegas.
Money raised Oct. 16 will support services, care and resources to patients and their caregivers to combat neurocognitive diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, multiple system atrophy and multiple sclerosis.”
The night will auction off exciting opportunities including chess with opera legend Andrea Bocelli, dinner with Jon Bon Jovi, art from renowned architect Frank Gehry and a Lamborghini Urus Pearl Capsule.
This year’s gala will also take time to honor Smokey Robinson and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds. Both have been instrumental in the fight against Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases, supporting vital causes like Keep Memory Alive.
Keep Memory Alive
These neurodegenerative diseases are devastating, and so little is understood about how to manage symptoms. Larry Ruvo, chairman and founder of Keep Memory Alive, shared on his website why this organization and its mission is so important to him; “Every 65 seconds, someone in this country develops Alzheimer’s disease. More than 10 million people worldwide have Parkinson’s disease. The effects of these and other brain diseases reach far beyond those who are afflicted: Today, more than 16 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with dementia.
While these numbers are overwhelming, nothing compares to the personal experiences of patients and families dealing with the challenges of these diseases every single day. In the early 1990s, my father, Lou Ruvo, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Together we navigated the difficult journey of diagnosis and limited treatments available at the time. The disease ultimately ended my father’s life and changed mine forever.”
Friends and loved ones of the late elder Ruvo gathered together and brainstormed ways to bring cutting-edge technology to Las Vegas to combat the ravages of these brain-altering diseases. The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health opened in 2009, and Keep Memory Alive has partnered with them to raise money and offer resources to keep the fight alive.
Superpowered Fundraising in 2021
Being in Las Vegas doesn’t hurt, with its star-adjacent location. In recent years, celebrities have been more involved in high-profile charity events than ever, and 2021 seems to be a bumper crop year for celeb involvement.
Just Recently, The Shaq Foundation launched a star-lineup benefit concert with Snoop Dogg, Andra Day, Kelly Clarkson, Imagine Dragons and Justin Bieber. Together they helped raise nearly $3 million for The Boys & Girls Club of America.
And just this past weekend, some of the biggest Middle Eastern music artists including DJ Michael Soltani, Valy Jaan, Sami Beigi, and Tohi with Andy Madadian gathered together for Helping Hands for Afghans in Las Vegas to raise money to aid refugees fleeing Taliban violence in Afghanistan.
Are stars gathering to raise money the new “it” thing in Hollywood? It’s not a new concept but it’s certainly on fire in 2021. If fans could spend their money on fundraisers and see their favorite stars instead of attending single-faceted concerts, maybe we could change the power behind “star power.”
The Keep Memory Alive’s Power of Love Gala kicks off October 16th at Resorts World Las Vegas.