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  • Lance Fensterman has been promoted to President of Global ReedPOP, the pop culture division of Reed Exhibitions.
  • The Las Vegas City Council votes April 4 on a proposal to build a new $76 million 350,000-sf downtown exhibition center.
  • Hilton will cut commissions to housing firms and other agencies that book room blocks at its U.S. and Canadian hotels from 10% to 7% in Oct.
  • The Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority announced a 4-year deal for SMG to operate four major Reno-Sparks venues.
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  • A new CEIR report provides benchmarks for all phases of a marketing campaign and details characteristics for success in growing attendance.
  • Mad Event Management is launching UAS/Drones for Disaster Response April 19-20 in Miami. First responders are the target audience.

Philanthropy Flourishes in Wake of Storms, Shootings

Sandi Cain
, Senior News Editor
October 17, 2017
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Chicago — A series of devastating storms and hurricanes were followed this fall by the horrific massacre in Las Vegas at the Route 41 Harvest Festival October 1. Significant efforts have been made in the form of philanthropic donations to help individuals and cities recover from the storms and the shootings.

Funds for hurricane victims of storms Harvey, Irma and Maria came from the American Red Cross, which raised $404 million. Another $5.6 million came from Catholic Charities and $303.2 million was raised by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Entertainer Jennifer Lopez donated $1 million to Puerto Rico relief and the NFL’s Houston Texans star J.J. Watt single-handedly raised $14 million for Hurricane Harvey’s victims. The Association for Packaging and Processing Technology (PMMI), gave $325,000 for hurricane relief raised at its PACK EXPO show in Las Vegas in late September. 

Other philanthropic efforts emerged in the wake of the mass shooting that killed 59 and injured more than 500 during the Route 91 Harvest Festival. The Las Vegas community came together quickly, launching #VegasStrong Twitter updates, a text-based donation mechanism (text Vegas to 20222 to donate $10) and a dedicated website, for donations to victims and their families. Because so many victims had California ties, a separate donation site was set up for them at

IMEX America, the largest U.S. hosted-buyer/trade show program for incentive travel, meetings and events, debuted at the Sands October 9 as scheduled, undaunted by the shootings. Their website outlined enhanced security efforts along with statements of empathy from both the Sands and Rossi Ralenkotter, CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

The site also prominently displayed a link to a fundraising site to support shooting victims and their families. The site, called the Las Vegas Victims’ Fund, was launched on Oct. 2 in Las Vegas by Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak. By October 10, that fund had raised $10.5 million of its $15 million goal.   

In addition, Sands’ owner Sheldon Adelson donated $4 million to the cause through his Family Foundation and MGM Resorts donated $3 million. Others contributing significant sums included the Cosmopolitan, Diamond Resorts’ Steve Cloobeck, the Oakland Raiders NFL team (expected to relocate to Las Vegas within the next few years) and the NFL Foundation.

The American Gaming Association—which held its show the week after the shooting, raised $100,000 for victims and their families on

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