By the Las Vegas Tribune Roving Reporter
There are so many ways to celebrate Father’s Day; we can only guess what most people do. BBQ? Gift ties? Take dad to lunch?
The one thing we know for sure is that for the past eight years, a group of dedicated Las Vegas entertainers (and maybe even a few from Arizona) have offered their talents and time to entertain the residents of the Nevada Veterans Home in Boulder City.
When this tradition began, the show was held outside with temperatures in the 100s. Now, for the past few years, an indoor space in the common area is transformed to accommodate this very popular and uninterrupted “extravaganza.”
Eight years ago, Nelson Sardelli, a long time Las Vegas resident, brought the idea to his fellow entertainers and the response from the show business community has been commendable. A large number of performers — sometimes over 40 — musicians, singers, comedians, magicians, technicians and volunteers, jump at the chance to spend a few hours with our local heroes, the residents of the Veterans Home.
Over the years the list of performers has been a Who’s Who of show business. Michaelina, Babe Pier, Pete Barbutti, Charlie Callas, Gordie Brown, Marty Aleen, Karon Kate Blackwell, Linda November, Cork Proctor, Jerry Lopez, The Tommy Thompson Project, Carme, Fielding West, Genevieve, Lt. Gov. Lorraine Hunt-Bono and Dennis Bono, just to name a few.
This year was no different.
Steve Rossi, Dondino, Peter Anthony, Artie Schroeck, Felix Silla, Paul Campanella, Ronnie Rose, Peter Anthony, Renee Hale, Roy Hammock (Roy Willie), Jac Hayden (Mundane the Grate), Joni Illi, Dr. Wilfred Krom, Nik Mastrangelo, Gary Olds and The Usual Suspects, Vinnie Falcone, Chris Gordon, Dr. George Ritter, Joseph R. Stanley, Johnny and Pam Thompson (The Great Tomsoni & Co.), Allen Tramont, Kirk and Nicole Tracy and Nelson Sardelli. Lighting and smoke effects were done by Larry Taylor and volunteers included: Lou Toomin, Don Sacco, Don Ciricillo, Johnny Amato and Joseph Donato.
Just watching the reactions of the Veterans and their families made it easy to see why these performers would drive so far to create such an amazing experience, some of them staying the full four hours. To see one of our nation’s heroes leave his walker to dance with the cast as they performed famous standards, truly can do wonders for the heart.
Nelson and friends will be back next year and the years to come… after seeing this, how could they not?