I. Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada and UNLVino
In 2010, which marks 37 years of continuous support, under the leadership of Larry Ruvo, Senior Managing Director of Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada, the Company continues to be an enthusiastic contributor to the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), which offers some of the most comprehensive culinary and hospitality management undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the nation.
"As longtime supporters of UNLV, we are delighted and honored to support UNLV's cutting-edge culinary and hospitality industry educational programs thanks to a wide range of fundraising events," said Mr. Ruvo. "Plus, as a Company, we are thrilled to be their partner as UNLV works hard to continually upgrade their academic offerings in the hospitality industry."
One of the most important of these charitable programs is called UNLVino, created by Mr. Ruvo and organized with the generous help of Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada. UNLVino is a hugely popular consumer wine and food festival featuring hundreds of premium wines and spirits from around the world and a selection of top dishes from some of the country's most renowned chefs, according to Anna Cohen, Special Events Manager at Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada. In 2010, more than 8,000 guests joined in UNLVino events, from the grand tasting events to a variety of special educational lectures, tastings and cooking demonstrations.
According to Mr. Ruvo, Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada is the exclusive wine and spirits sponsor for all UNLVino related events. "We could not do this event without the support and assistance of our fine wine and spirits supplier partners," said Mr. Ruvo. "I want to thank everyone involved – our supplier partners, our own senior management and our employees, all of whom donate their time and efforts – to making the annual UNLVino the successful event it is for 37 consecutive years, with all proceeds benefiting the students and the university."
Mr. Ruvo also noted that the Company sponsors other fundraising events for UNLV during the academic year, as well as hosting educational wine and spirit tastings, again in cooperation with Southern's supplier partners.
In 2011, UNLVino event is scheduled for April; for more information, log onto: http://eventful.com/lasvegas/events/unlvino-/E0-001-028808570-1@2011040800
II. Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada Support State’s Public Education Award
Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada has been a longtime supporter of The Public Education Foundation, according to Mr. Ruvo. On September 25, 2010, the Foundation honored Jim Murren, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MGM Resorts International, as the 2010 Education Hero, for his contributions to education and the community at a gala fundraiser at the Mandarin Hotel, Las Vegas, with Southern serving as a key contributor.
“Since 1998, when Jim moved to Las Vegas, he has dedicated himself to making our community a better place,” said Judi Steele, president of The Public Education Foundation.” Mr. Ruvo is a past recipient of the Public Education Foundation’s Education Hero Honor.
Inspired by a belief that improving our public schools was too big a task for a school district to undertake alone, The Public Education Foundation was established in 1991 as an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit Nevada corporation. The mission of the Foundation is to mobilize community and global resources to support and impact public education through initiatives, programs, and promising practices designed to improve student performance and advance quality educational opportunities for all children.
III. Southern Wine & Spirits and Rock for the Cure
In 2010, Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada continued its support of the annual Rock for the Cure. This annual event program features a benefit rock concert in support of the Nevada Cancer Institute in Las Vegas; a sister event, Hope Jam, is held in Reno, also on an annual basis. Each event presents unforgettable musical performances, gourmet dining and celebrity auctions to sell out crowds. World-renowned chefs such as Bradley Ogden, Wolfgang Puck, Julian Serrano and Bobby Flay have created culinary masterpieces for Rock for the Cure guests.
The Nevada Cancer Institute is an independent, nonprofit institution whose mission is to develop a comprehensive cancer research institute staffed by the finest scientists, clinicians, and caregivers.
Past performers and guests at the concerts have included the Eagles, the Commodores, Rod Stewart, Jewel, Jay Leno, Larry King and Tommy LaSorda.
IV. Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada and the Keep Memory Alive Foundation
When reviewing the different social services, medical and community-based charitable activities supported each year by Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada, the Keep Memory Alive (KMA) Foundation is one of the most important to Larry Ruvo, Senior Managing Director of Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada, a division of Southern Wine and Spirits of America, Inc., the nation's largest wine and spirits distributor.
In 2010, Mr. Ruvo expressed his thanks to all the individual and corporate sponsors and contributors to the KMA Foundation’s annual “Power of Love” gala fundraiser and certainly the Chaplin family. Mr. Ruvo said, “I am grateful that our company can play a positive role in helping to battle this crippling medical condition and I am thankful to all our guest chefs, our fine wine and spirits suppliers and our parent, Southern Wine and Spirits of America, Inc., for all their contributions to the outstanding success of our annual Keep Memory Alive ‘Power of Love’ events and dinner.”
Keep Memory Alive (KMA), founded in 1996, is a Nevada-based, not-for-profit organization dedicated to finding acure for memory disorders and neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, ALS and other brain dysfunctions. Ten years and 50 million dollars later, KMA has succeeded in giving charitable momentum to help understand and manage these enigmatic diseases. From intimate dinners and fundraising auctions to an annual star-studded gala, KMA is bringing the dark, private tragedy of dementia into the light.
KMA’s triumph is reflected in the creation and construction of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health designed by famed architect Frank Gehry. Located in an elegant state of the art building in historical downtown Las Vegas, the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health has ambitious goals backed by a skilled management team. The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health will provide services not only for people affected by this devastating disease, but will also have programs to promote healthy lifestyles for all Nevadans.
The Nevada Vital Aging initiative, for instance, will create a statewide registry for people at risk that will serve as a national research resource for a variety of public health-related objectives, including clinical trials, epidemiological studies, and translational research. The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health will forge collaborations among leading doctors and scientists throughout the world in their quest to defeat these memory-eradicating maladies.
Keep Memory Alive and the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health is the brainchild of prominent Las Vegas businessman and philanthropist Larry Ruvo who is Senior Managing Director of Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada. Mr. Ruvo is inspired by Lou Ruvo’s (his father) struggle with Alzheimer’s disease and has sought to spare future generations the grief of losing a loved one twice: first of memory, then of life. His impetus provides hope to the Las Vegas community and, beyond that, a memory lost is not forgotten.
For more information about the Keep Memory Alive Foundation and the 2011 Keep Memory Alive Power of Love Gala, please log onto: www.keepmemoryalive.org
V.Las Vegas Review-Journal Honors Southern’s Larry Ruvo for Philanthropy and Charity Work
Each year in Las Vegas, the editors of the Las Vegas Review-Journal publish a “Best of Las Vegas” issue, comprised of a readers’ poll asking them to vote on more than 100 categories ranging from “People” and “Eat & Drink” to “Entertainment” to “Non-Hotel Architecture.” Besides posting the results of the Readers’ voting, the newspaper’s editors also list their own favorite “picks.” This year, Larry Ruvo, Senior Managing Director, Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada, was cited twice in the special March 27, 2011 issue. First, under the “Non-Hotel Architecture” category, Las Vegas Review-Journal readers picked the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, which was designed by the award-winning architect Frank Gehry, and whose fund-raising and research have been an important philanthropic cause of Mr. Ruvo’s, in honor of his father, Lou, who was a victim of Alzheimer’s disease.
The second award, picked as an Editor’s Choice, singled out Mr. Ruvo as “Favorite Male Las Vegan”, second only to the readers’ pick of Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman. In citing Mr. Ruvo, Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote, “Larry Ruvo is a longtime Southern Nevada businessman (Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada) and philanthropist who late father, Lou, suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. Larry, seeking to honor his father, spearheaded the creation of Keep Memory Alive, a non-profit organization that raises money to treat and research the disease. That, in turn, led to the creation of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, a facility for the research, diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases. The center started seeing patients last year, and we honor Larry Ruvo for allowing us all to benefit from a son’s tribute to his father.”
The Las Vegas Review-Journal tribute did not mention, however, Mr. Ruvo’s longstanding support, as well, of the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Each year, with the charitable support and participation of Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada, Mr. Ruvo leads the 37th annual UNLVino wine tasting event – “Take a Sip for Scholarship” – whose proceeds go directly to fund scholarships for deserving students at the UNLV’s College of Hotel Administration. Please visit: www.unlvino.com
Southern Wine & Spirits of Pacific Northwest Corporate Social Responsibility
John Klein, Executive Vice President, General Manager of Southern Wine & Spirits of Pacific Northwest (Southern)—encompassing Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho and Montana—is extremely proud of the large number of Southern team members across all seven states who have offered their volunteer time and donations to a wide range of national, state and local charitable groups. In 2013 and continuing through 2014, Southern has offered support to more than two-dozen different community-based, non-profit organizations across the region.
Columbia Winery Charity Run & Walk—Supporting Seattle Children’s Hospital
For eight years, Matt Haskins, Senior Vice President, Wine for the Pacific Northwest has participated in the Columbia Winery Charity Run & Walk, which benefits the Children’s Hospital in Seattle. In 2013, Southern was one of the single largest independent donor groups of the Charity Run to support families struggling with medical bills. In 2014, Southern employees raised more than $14,000 for the run. The need for uncompensated care grows each year and is expected to exceed more than $100 million this year. Of the 100,000 patients treated at Children’s each year, 65% need financial assistance.
The Columbia Winery Charity Run & Walk is hosted by The Run for Children's Guild. For more information, please visit: http://www.runforchildrens.org
Detlef Schrempf Foundation
In June 2014, Southern donated a selection of wines and spirits from its supplier partners to the 21st Annual Detlef Schrempf Celebrity Gala and Auction. The Detlef Schrempf Foundation serves as a fundraising entity for Northwest children’s charities, enabling organizations to expand their own fundraising efforts. The foundation’s vision is to assist these organizations in their quest to provide children a better chance at succeeding in life.
Guests of the event included more than 500 local business leaders, celebrities, athletes and philanthropists. Proceeds raised from The Ripple of Giving Gala fund The Healing Center and Inspire Youth Project.
For more information, please visit: http://detlef.com/
Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery
In 2014, Southern donated to the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery in Spokane, Washington. The mission of the Crisis Nursery is to provide immediate refuge for children and support to strengthen families. This mission evolved from the tragic story of Vanessa Kay Behan, a Spokane girl who died from child abuse injuries at the age of two. Following her death, a group of local business people established the Crisis Nursery so that parents would have a safe place to bring their children in the face of crises.”
The Crisis Nursery provides 24-hour child care for infants and children under the age of seven, parent education, crisis counseling for parents, and referrals to other community agencies. For more information, please visit: http://www.vanessabehan.org/
Covenant House Alaska 2014 Fire and Ice Ball
In January2014, Southern donated wines and spirits from participating supplier partners to the Fire and Ice Ball, with all proceeds going to the Covenant House Alaska. Covenant House Alaska has served thousands of homeless, at-risk, and trafficked youth in Alaska. Their sole purpose is to help youth in crisis 24-hours a day. Through three main programs—emergency shelter, street outreach and transitional living programs—Covenant House Alaska meets the basic needs of youth in crisis, while also providing them with the support to become healthy, self-sufficient, contributing members of our community.
This year's Fire & Ice Ball was a huge success. $500,000 was raised to benefit Covenant House Alaska. In just one night, guests provided funds to keep their doors open 24 hours a day for over 100 days. Thanks to this fun night of fundraising, hundreds of young men and women will have a safe, warm, loving roof over their heads.
For more information, please visit: http://ak.covenanthouse.org/fire-and-ice-ball
Anchorage Robert Burns Appreciation Society:
In 2014, the Anchorage Robert Burns Appreciation Society held its 22nd anniversary of the Anchorage Robert Burns Supper in honor of Scotland's greatest poet, Robert Burns. The charity event proceeds are earmarked for local charitable groups such as local Armed Services YMCA, Food Bank Alaska, and Breast Cancer Focus Alaska, among others. Southern supported the event though an in-kind donation of wine and spirits.
For more information, please visit: http://www.tarbas.org/index.php
Oregon Food Bank’s Annual Food Drive
Thanks to the active participation of Southern team members, the annual food drive collected several hundred pounds of non-perishable goods which was donated to the Oregon Food Bank in Portland. The Oregon Food Bank distributes emergency food to hunger-relief agencies throughout Oregon and Clark County, Washington. In addition, Oregon Food Bank’s metro and statewide services teams provide technical assistance and training to hunger-relief agencies and matches local donations to help agencies build capacity to better serve the community.
For more information, please visit: www.oregonfoodbank.org
One Warm Coat
One Warm Coat is a national non-profit organization that assists in the donation of coats. One Warm Coat helps individuals, groups, companies and organizations across the country collect coats and deliver them to local agencies to distribute to people in need.
Southern’s Oregon team partnered with local retail customers to collect and donate several hundred coats for One Warm Coat of Oregon. For more information, please visit: www.onewarmcoat.org
Additional Outreach Efforts
In addition to the charitable, health and community groups noted above, Southern supports City of Hope, Northwest Harvest, Toys for Tots, the YWCA, Boys and Girls Club, Cordova Sockeye Festival, First Friday Art, Cancer Society, UAS Alumni Association, March of Dimes Celebrity Chef event, Fur Rendezvous, Blue Line Youth Hockey, and AK Selects and the Sitka Seafood Festival, which in 2014 will once again feature a special appearance from the Head Winemaker of Rodney Strong Vineyards Rick Sayre. Southern charitably supports the Children’s Cancer Association of Oregon, the Lan Su Chinese Garden, and Elevate Oregon for urban youth.