The second annual INSPIRE charity concert celebration, presented by Sands Cares, will take place on May 18 at The Venetian Theatre featuring Grammy award-winning artist Jason Mraz. All proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Sands Cares Accelerator Program Members. Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth (NPHY) joins the Marty Hennessy Inspiring Children Foundation (ICF) as a member of the Accelerator Program and beneficiaries of INSPIRE, which is being underwritten by Sands Cares to help program members increase their impact on the local community.
Headlining the benefit concert, Mraz has quietly amassed a diverse and avid fan base throughout the world. Since getting his start in San Diego coffee houses, he’s brought his positive message and soulful, folk-pop sound to rapt audiences through his vibrant recordings, humorous live performances and philanthropic efforts. Along the way, Mraz has earned numerous platinum certifications and made pop history with his record-breaking classic single, “I’m Yours.” His single “I Won’t Give Up,” won two Grammy Awards, as well as the prestigious Songwriter Hall of Fame Hal David Award. A dedicated artist and gentleman farmer, Mraz is a committed global citizen through impassioned social activism and philanthropic efforts that span from environmental advocacy to ardent support for human rights.
INSPIRE is the signature fund-raising event for the Sands Cares Accelerator Program, a community partnership in which the company makes a longer-term investment in promising nonprofit organizations that have the potential to expand service and grow in size with the resources of a committed corporate catalyst. Accelerator members enter the program for three years and receive funding, in-kind services, mentoring, volunteer support and other opportunities, such as proceeds from INSPIRE. The Accelerator Program was created to build on the entrepreneurial and philanthropic legacy of founder, chairman and CEO Sheldon G. Adelson.
“We hope that joining ICF in the Accelerator program will have a great impact on NPHY’s ability to address Southern Nevada’s significant youth homelessness problem,” said Ron Reese, senior vice president of global communications and corporate affairs at Las Vegas Sands. “Our two Accelerator members complement each other very well, in terms of putting at-risk youth on a positive trajectory.”
NPHY has provided Southern Nevada’s homeless youth with help, hope and opportunities to rebuild their lives, guiding them toward a path of self-sufficiency with access to a range of services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Through outreach, emergency shelter, independent living and other programs to assist their transition out of homelessness, the organization meets the needs of homeless youth at various stages in their journeys.
“Becoming an Accelerator member and being part of INSPIRE is a game changer for NPHY and a tremendous opportunity to raise our community’s awareness about the significant youth homelessness problem in Las Vegas and Clark County,” said Arash Ghafoori, executive director of NPHY. “As Sands is helping us catalyze a movement to end youth homelessness in Southern Nevada, we hope that through our efforts more people will realize that youth homelessness is one of our region’s biggest problems, and that our youth deserve the commitment of the collective community to find real solutions.”
Las Vegas/Clark County has the nation’s third largest unaccompanied homeless youth population among major U.S. metropolitan areas, with more than 90 percent living unsheltered – the second highest rate in the nation. NPHY focuses on keeping youth in school, starting them in the workforce and working toward independent living. Like NPHY, ICF assists at-risk youth with its unique focus on building life skills and providing leadership development to help them achieve beyond their previously limited beliefs for the potential of their lives. ICF has mastered a 95-percent rate of college scholarships for youth in the organization’s full-time leadership program, with many entering prestigious universities.
“Being part of the Accelerator Program and the beneficiary of INSPIRE this past year has made a huge impact on our organization,” said Ryan Wolfington, founder, ICF. “Thanks to Sands Cares, we’ve been able to expand our staff, increase our services and build our organization’s foundation toward a more promising future.”