Las Vegas Sun

November 17, 2017

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Kerry Simon chefs-and-concert MSA benefit tonight at Keep Memory Alive is sold out


Miss Universe Organization

Chef Kerry Simon with 2011 Miss USA Pageant contestants at Kerry’s Gourmet Burgers at Harrah’s.

KGB's Second Anniversary at Harrah's

Kerry Simon, Sammy Hagar, Robin Leach and Joe Satriani celebrate the second anniversary of KGB (Kerry's Gourmet Burgers) in Harrah's on Saturday, June 2, 2012. Launch slideshow »

With ticket prices at $500 to $1,000 for tonight’s “Iron Chef America” winner Kerry Simon fundraiser for his battle against the brain disorder Multiple System Atrophy, our small committee wondered if we would reach capacity.

But the past 24 hours has seen a thunderous outpouring, and all 420 tickets were sold by 5 p.m. Wednesday. It’s an incredible accomplishment in just 10 weeks since we wrote the first story of Kerry’s brave and courageous fight against the muscle-and-brain-crippling disease for which there is no cure or treatment.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t accommodate more people at the all-star rockers and chefs event at our downtown Keep Memory Alive event center at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, so we’ll organize future fundraisers. Ticket sales, donations and the live and silent auctions should bring in as much as $500,000 for Kerry’s Fight MSA charity.

On Friday at lunchtime, we have 20 doctors and MSA-afflicted families meeting for a luncheon with Dr. Ryan Walsh and Dr. Jeff Cummings from our Brain Center. Our plan is to formally set in place Kerry’s legacy charity for treatment, patient care and research to find a cure — all headquartered here in Las Vegas.

Kerry and restaurant partner Elizabeth Blau hosted a “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” dinner Wednesday night with George Maloof at Buddy V’s Ristorante in Palazzo for key supporters and Alice Cooper, Sammy Hagar and chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

Mayor Carolyn Goodman and her husband, former Mayor Oscar Goodman, will present Kerry with a proclamation and a key to the city as we kick off tonight’s benefit. Daniel Boulud, Charlie Palmer, Rick Moonen, Michael Mina, Megan Romano and Jean-Georges are just a few of the chefs manning the stoves. Mario Batali, Todd English and Jean-Georges have contributed auction items.

I’ll serve as MC and assist with Christian Kohlberg’s auction. Sammy Hagar will open the show with four songs, Todd Rundgren will follow with three, with Vince then performing three and Alice Cooper wrapping up with four songs before an all-star-closing jam session with Slash.

Kerry will host the VIP after-party at his restaurant Simon in Palms Place, and after Friday’s luncheon, he returns to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., for two more months of stem-cell treatments.

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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