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