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Monday, Dec. 2, 2019

Las Vegas Night Sweetens The Pot

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Spin, roll, draw for a worthy cause

The Betty and Leonard Phillips Deaf Action Center (DAC), a local nonprofit, is sweetening the pot for its every-other-year fundraiser with a new venue and spectacular items for the live and silent auctions. Las Vegas Night 2019 is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Petroleum Club in downtown Shreveport, and winning is in the cards for the whole community. The proceeds from this event help underwrite DAC’s programming for the next two years, benefiting over 18,000 deaf and hard of hearing people and their families in northwest Louisiana.

Las Vegas Night 2019 will feature an open bar and exquisite buffet in an intimate environment for guests to place their bets and roll the dice. Tickets are $250 per person and include $500 in chips to play blackjack, roulette and craps with professional dealers. Additional chips will be available for purchase and chips cannot be exchanged for currency.

The items available for auction at Las Vegas Night 2019 are nothing short of spectacular. “Sarah Toups, our auction chair, did a fabulous job collecting very unique items for the live and silent auctions,” said DAC Executive Director David Hylan. “The highlights for the live auction will be the amazing trip to Hidden Burgundy France, the Ireland Adventure and the private jet for a day trip to anywhere within 300 miles of Shreveport.”

Hyland described this year as “extra special” after a recent tragedy impacted the close-knit organization. Fred Phillips, chairman of Las Vegas Night 2019, was severely injured, and his partner of 24 years, Electra Churchill, was killed in a home explosion and fire on Oct. 11 in Colorado. Phillips is also chairman of the Betty and Leonard Phillips Deaf Action Center, named for his parents, who started the agency. He is in stable condition in Denver’s Swedish Medical Center Burn Unit, and his family remains optimistic about his recovery.

“This event is definitely in honor of my brother and chairman of the event, Fred Phillips,” said Sandi Kallenberg. “Fred had many fantastic ideas that we are going to utilize, and he did an amazing job with getting sponsors. We love him so much and can’t wait to have him back at Las Vegas Night in 2021.”

Kallenberg also pointed out that despite the inevitable ups and downs that come with recovery from an accident, Phillips and his five children have maintained active roles in the planning of Las Vegas Night 2019 from Colorado. “DAC was started by our mom and dad,” Kallenberg continued. “The entire family feels such a strong commitment to continuing their wonderful legacy. We love to see our community come out and have a great time.”

DAC promotes the independence of the deaf, the hard of hearing, and the multi handicapped deaf in Louisiana. The Center has made a tremendous effort to provide services, support and advocacy for this population by educating the general public, instructing in the field of deafness, and encouraging leadership among members of the Deaf Community.

Interpreting is central and core to all services provided by DAC. The Center provides sign language and interpreting services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Interpreters may be requested for situations ranging from community functions such as theatre performances, meetings, lectures and formal classes to the more individualized functions such as a doctor visit, applying for a loan or attending a wedding.

DAC was established in 1982 as a nonprofit organization after a visit to Shreveport by the National Theatre of the Deaf sparked concern from a local family about the lack of services available for deaf residents in the area. Sandi and Jeffrey Kallenberg, Betty and Leonard Phillips, Fred Phillips and their families joined efforts to hire a professional in the field of deafness and provide the seed money to establish the Center. DAC’s name was changed in 1985 to honor its benefactors, the late Betty and Leonard Phillips.

Las Vegas Night, which benefits the Betty and Leonard Phillips Deaf Action Center, is one of the most successful fundraisers in north Louisiana. The new venue, the Petroleum Club, is a larger space capable of hosting over 300 guests. It is expected to sell out. To purchase tickets for Las Vegas Night 2019, please visit https://charityauction.bid/dac.


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