By Rebecca Theim Posted March 2, 2011, 3:39 PM EST
Keep Memory Alive's 15th annual Power of Love gala at Las Vegas’s Bellagio Saturday night was massive. Guests met with a celebrity-studded red carpet, a four-course dinner by four well-known chefs, and live and silent auctions offering items such as a 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster and an Australian wine lovers’ cruise aboard a private yacht.
“I’m very fortunate,” said Keep Memory Alive director of special events Anna Robins. “I’ve been working with the team at the MGM Resorts Events and the Bellagio for years, and they do a spectacular job.” Robins again teamed with Camille Ruvo, wife of Larry Ruvo, the founder and C.E.O. of Keep Memory Alive, to begin planning the event in July. About 100 volunteers and 45 sommeliers also donated their time, along with a committee that helped secure items for the 41-page live auction program. The event benefited the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.
The major change this year was the addition of an opulently decorated after-party, which included so-called “bubble girls” descending from the ceiling in clear bubble-shaped seats serving champagne donated by event sponsor Dom Pérignon, and a chandelier that dropped to the floor to become part of the dessert buffet.
Individual tickets to the dinner and after-party ranged from $1,500 to $7,500, with tables going from $15,000 to $75,000. The Mercedes Roadster, one of only 300 to be manufactured, went for $340,000 during the evening’s live auction. Although the organization didn’t release how much this year’s evening raised, it noted that nearly $100 million has been generated in the event’s 15-year history.
For the 1,100 guests in attendance, the night included a four-course dinner created by chefs José Andrés, Michael Mina, Wolfgang Puck and François Payard, and entertainment from comedians and TV stars Brad Garrett and Ray Romano, and Australian Motown group Human Nature. Also performing was Eric Gomez, an MGM Resorts International housekeeping team member who was discovered by the company and is on his way to a contract with Sony’s Latin division, Robins said.