Over 6,500 Participants Attend 15th Annual Las Vegas Great Santa Run

 

 

 

 

 

 

OVER 6,500 PARTICPANTS ATTEND THE 15th ANNUAL
LAS VEGAS GREAT SANTA RUN, DEC. 7
Sea of Santas flood Fremont Street to participate in OV’s largest single-day fundraiser

Santas gather on Fremont Street to take part in the 15th Anniversary Las Vegas Great Santa Run.
Photo Credit:
LaLa Photography

 

 

On Saturday, December 7, Opportunity Village hosted the 15TH annual Las Vegas Great Santa Run in Downtown Las Vegas and were able to gather 6,644 Santa participants from across the world, including 6 countries and 43 states.

 

All proceeds from the Las Vegas Great Santa Run will go towards the programs and services for adults with disabilities at Opportunity Village.

 

The race, presented by Circle K, kicked off at the Fremont Street Experience and featured numerous special guests, including 5K Grand Marshal A’ja Wilson of the Las Vegas Aces, 1-mile Marshals The Chippendales, Santa Claus, Mayor Carolyn Goodman, former Mayor Oscar Goodman, and the organization’s all-Elvis dance troupe – The OV Elvi.

 

“For 15 years, we’ve been honored to host the Great Santa Run in wonderful Downtown Las Vegas in support of adults with disabilities,” said Adam K. Joseph, Vice President of Philanthropy at Opportunity Village. “This truly could not be done without the Southern Nevada community. From our vendors to volunteers to long-time partners, we’re absolutely thrilled with the support and outcome.”

 

Additional pre-race entertainment was provided by Gabriella Versace of SEXXY: The Show, Zumba by Kat and Jjohn, a Fit4Mom workout to the late George Dare’s “Run Santa Run”, DJ Mikey P, DJ Jesse Estrada, and mascots from the Vegas Golden Nights, Las Vegas Aces and Las Vegas Aviators. The starting line stage and after-party entertainment stage were hosted by Mark Shunock of Monday’s Dark and featured an impressive line-up of entertainment including Empire Records, WOW! The Vegas Spectacular, Celestia, Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel in Concert, and Kung Pow (DJ).

 

All Las Vegas Great Santa Run participants received a five-piece Santa suit with their registration and a commemorative medal upon completion. Another highlight of the event was Mena Hawkins, an inspirational young woman with cerebral palsy, not only crossing the finish line, but also raising over $7,200 for Opportunity Village in her fundraising efforts.

 

More information on Mena Hawkins can be found HERE.

Grand Marshal, A’ja Wilson, of the Las Vegas Aces, joined here by mascot Buckets.
Photo Credit:
LaLa Photography

The procession to the starting line led by Grand Marshal A’ja Wilson of the Las Vegas Aces.
Photo Credit: LaLa Photography
Participants from Team Hoyt are the first group across the starting line. Photo Credit: LaLa Photography
Participants from Team Hoyt are the first group across the starting line.
Photo Credit: LaLa Photography

About Opportunity Village

Mission: Opportunity Village is a not-for-profit organization that serves people within our community with significant intellectual disabilities, to improve their lives and the lives of their families.

 

Seven families who were determined to give their children with disabilities the best lives possible founded Opportunity Village in 1954. Now, more than six decades later, Opportunity Village is one of the most recognized and respected organizations of its type in the United States.

Nevada’s largest employer of people with disabilities, Opportunity Village serves nearly 2,000 individuals annually, providing vocational training, employment, habilitation and social recreation programs and services that make their lives more purposeful and interesting.

Opportunity Village citizens – individuals who were previously considered unemployable – work at Opportunity Village’s Employment Resource Centers and in jobs throughout the community, collectively earning wages amounting to more than $3.7 million in 2016.  They are hardworking and diligent, proudly paying taxes and happily leading more fulfilling lives.

Primarily a self-funded organization, Opportunity Village generates the majority of its operational funding through its employment contracts and fundraising efforts such as the Magical Forest and Great Santa Run, saving Nevada taxpayers more than $37 million annually.

 

 

Opportunity Village Kicks Off Early Bird Registration for Las Vegas Great Santa Run, June 21

 

 

 

 

 

 

OPPORTUNITY VILLAGE KICKS OFF EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION FOR LAS VEGAS GREAT SANTA RUN, JUNE 21

 

51s, Hey Reb!, and Lights Mascots will be joined by Mayor Carolyn Goodman, FIT4MOM and more to launch early-bird sign-ups for 14th annual Las Vegas Great Santa Run

 

It might be the first day of summer, but Las Vegas has Santa on the brain. Las Vegas Great Santa Run – the most wonderful fun run of the year – will kick off early registration during its highly anticipated official launch event on Thursday, June 21.  Hosted by beloved Las Vegas nonprofit Opportunity Village in Downtown Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Great Santa Run Registration Launch will celebrate with a parade, special guests and more.

 

Beginning at 10:30 a.m., the parade will stretch from Las Vegas Boulevard to the Main Street Stage on Fremont Street Experience. Zappos llamas decked in reindeer ears will lead the procession, followed by summertime Santa himself and Las Vegas’ well-known sporting mascots from the Las Vegas 51s, UNLV and Las Vegas Lights FC.  Shortly after the parade, FIT4MOM – the nation’s leading prenatal and postnatal fitness program for mothers – will take over the Main Street Stage to engage attendees and passersby in an energetic exercise program. Also taking the stage with be Legends in Concert’s young Michael Jackson (Nathaniel Cullors) to help get you in the holiday spirit.

 

Joined by The Chippendales, Mayor Carolyn Goodman will make a special appearance to present the World Santa Alliance trophy to Opportunity Village. The award celebrates Las Vegas Great Santa Run as the world’s largest Santa fun run in 2017, beating its biggest rival in Liverpool.

 

This year, Circle K has continued the tradition of serving as the presenting sponsor of Opportunity Village’s Great Santa Run. Additionally, as the Official Host Hotel for this year’s event, packet pickup will take place at Plaza Hotel & Casino. The Plaza also will offer free parking to all registrants on race day this December.

 

”The Plaza is committed to supporting events and causes that make positive contributions to downtown and the greater Las Vegas community,” said Jonathan Jossel, CEO of Plaza Hotel & Casino. “The Great Santa Run is a longstanding, successful event that brings thousands of people to downtown while supporting the great work Opportunity Village does in the Las Vegas Valley. We are proud to be an event sponsor and look forward to welcoming all of the Santas to downtown and the Plaza.”

 

All prospective runners are invited to join the celebration to receive a limited-time $20 registration. The Las Vegas Great Santa Run is one of Opportunity Village’s largest annual fundraisers and helps the not-for-profit enhance the lives of more than 2,000 Southern Nevadans with intellectual and related disabilities. Last December, Grand Marshal Holly Madison and Honorary Chairman Wayne Newton attended to cheer on Santa-clad participants. For more information, visit www.LVSantaRun.com.

About Opportunity Village

Opportunity Village is a not-for-profit organization that serves people within our community with significant intellectual disabilities, to improve their lives and the lives of their families. Seven families who were determined to give their children with disabilities the best lives possible founded Opportunity Village in 1954. Now, more than 60 years later, Opportunity Village is one of the most recognized and respected organizations of its type in the United States. As Nevada’s largest employer of people with disabilities, Opportunity Village serves more than 2,000 individuals annually, providing vocational training, employment, habilitation and social recreation programs and services that make their lives more purposeful and interesting. Opportunity Village citizens – individuals who were previously considered unemployable – work at Opportunity Village’s Employment Resource Centers and in jobs throughout the community, collectively earning wages amounting to more than $3.7 million in 2016.  They are hard-working and diligent, proudly paying taxes and happily leading more fulfilling lives. Primarily a self-funded organization, Opportunity Village generates the majority of its operational funding through its employment contracts and fundraising efforts such as the Magical Forest and Great Santa Run, saving Nevada taxpayers more than $37 million annually.