Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012 | 3:31 p.m.
Before she reached her premiere party Saturday night, singer Shania Twain had an important first stop after her debut at the Colosseum in Caesars Palace. She placed her charity Shania Kids Can ahead of any party and raised $45,000 for her program that builds a better future for disadvantaged youth.
The meet-and-greet with supporters raised more than $20,000, and then husband Frederic Thiebaud and she conducted an auction that raised another $25,000. He told me later that they intend to set up a branch of the charity during her Las Vegas residency so that underprivileged local children can benefit -- probably through one of Andre Agassi’s school programs.
Shania escaped poverty and neglect while growing up in an abusive household in northern Ontario. She said that she often went to school without breakfast or lunch and no money.
“My classmates had cleaner clothes, freshly washed and brushed hair and healthy teeth. After several days of not eating properly, I would just stay home from school to avoid the discomfort of seeing the other kids enjoying a nicely prepared meal. … I knew that I had to escape and break free of the dysfunction. I went through school concerned about being ridiculed for being inferior.
“I promised myself early on in my own childhood that some day I would help kids just like myself cope with their disadvantages and prosper in spite of the challenges. Kids Can is fulfilling that promise.” After her mother and stepfather were killed in a 1987 car crash, Shania cared for her two half-brothers.
“I can relate to the effects of growing up with difficulties at home and understand the problems kids can face. I feel luck saved me from falling through the cracks, and my reason for creating Kids Can is to prevent underprivileged children from falling through them. It’s unacceptable for us to stand by and watch any child in this modern society suffer right before our eyes.”
Shania was given an engraved 3-liter bottle of red wine from friends at Keep Memory Alive to celebrate her premiere. “I confess I took some sips to toast for good luck before going onstage,” she laughed.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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Transport yourself to the opulent and excessive Roman Empire at Caesars Palace. But the ever-changing Caesars Palace is far from ancient. The hotel and casino is constantly raising the bar for what visitors can expect in a Vegas resort experience.
Caesars Palace features 3,348 rooms and suites in five towers, including the new luxury boutique Nobu Hotel and Restaurant, which opened Feb. 4, 2013, in the totally remodeled Centurian Tower. Caesars features 129,000 square feet of gaming space, including the Strip’s largest poker room and a 250-seat sports book. Other amenities include about two dozen restaurants, a four-level shopping mall, four pools, a spa, Pure and Poetry nightclubs and Pussycat Dolls.
Dining options include restaurants from world-renown chefs Guy Savoy, Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, Gordon Ramsay and, on Feb. 4, 2013, Nobu Matsuhisa.
You never know what characters you’ll run into at Caesars with regular performers like Jerry Seinfeld, Bette Midler, Elton John and maybe even the emperor himself.