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Monday, Nov. 20, 2017


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A winner for Deaf Action Center

If you are one of the attendees at the 2017 “Las Vegas Night” fund-raiser benefitting the Betty and Leonard Phillips Deaf Action Center, you help make everyone in the hearing-impaired community a winner.

Founded in 1982 with seed funding provided by the Phillips family, Deaf Action Center currently serves over 20,000 deaf and hearing-impaired clients in the community at large. Moneys raised at this increasingly popular biennial event help the center fund an impressive array of services and programs.

This year’s “Las Vegas Night” is being held at Wine Country Bistro, 4800 Line Ave. in Shreveport. For $250 each attendee receives $500 in chips for playing blackjack, roulette and craps (with professional dealers); exciting treasure-filled live and silent auctions; music provided by a DJ; an open bar; and a sumptuous buffet prepared by Wine Country’s executive chef.

Chairman of the event this year is Collin Phillips, grandson of the founders.

“This is definitely a legacy event, one that my grandparents started as a labor of love and the family continues to keep building. The entire community comes together to make this one of the area’s most successful ‘parties’,” said Collin Phillips.

David Hyland, who began as a staff interpreter, has served as executive director of the Center since 1986.

“This is Vegas Night 18, and this event plays a key role in our funding for the next two years. In addition, the Center’s programs are also supported by private donations and grants. Collin has done an exceptional job this time out as our event chairman working hand in hand with his dad, Fred Phillips, president of Phillips Energy (Leonard and Betty’s son),” said Hyland.

“The idea for the Center was stirred when my grandparents attended a performance by the National Theatre of the Deaf. They began looking into what services were available for the local hearing-impaired and found that there was a serious need for services to be provided for that community. They then provided the initial funding to establish the Center, and the family, with the help of the entire community, have kept growing it year after year,” Collin Phillips said.

“My dad’s help has been invaluable in moving this forward this year, particularly in getting great sponsors. My dad and I have always worked well as a team, and this is a great example of that bond,” said Collin Phillips.

First-time auction chair Sarah Toups has worked tirelessly for months assembling an enviable array of items for both the live and silent auctions. Her long-time close friendship with Jeffrey and Sandi Kallenberg led her to become a volunteer serving the event this year in a major position. (Sandi Kallenberg is the daughter of Leonard and Betty Phillips.)

“The items available at the event this year are too extensive to list in their entirety, but I will single out a few that I think should stir interest. There is a deluxe and enviable trip to Perdido, Fla.; an exciting trip to New York City; a guitar autographed by rock star Alice Cooper and actor Johnny Depp; and a copy of ‘Black Widow’ signed by Stan Lee from Marvel Comics. One very special offering is a unique item customized and donated by former U.S. Navy SEAL Marcus

Luttrell, portrayed by Mark Wahlberg in ‘Lone Survivor.’ Luttrell was awarded the Purple Heart and the Navy Cross in 2005 for his service. Auctioneer for the live auction this year will be David Goodman, well known for his exciting work at Christmas in the Sky,” said Toups.

“Our success with the most recent Vegas Night has allowed us to increase services for the people we serve. To that end, we have opened an audio and video production studio directly across the street from the center, which will afford us in-house capabilities as well as the opportunity to use it as an additional revenue stream for the center. This event is not only a testament to my grandparents, but to the entire community that continues to come out and support it, ” said Collin Phillips.

“This is still one of the most exciting and amazing evenings you can have. Be among the young and hip revelers rolling the dice for a grand time and a great cause that keeps the doors open for this important community facility,” Hyland said.

You can bet you will have the time of your life – and serve a tremendous cause – if you come out for the 2017 edition of Las Vegas Night, the popular fund-raiser held every-other-year to benefit the Betty and Leonard Phillips Deaf Action Center. For tickets and other information, please call (318) 425-7781.


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