The line of Vegas headliners and Hollywood celebrities for the red carpet at the 15th Annual Canon Customer Appreciation Reception and National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) Celebrity Golf Tournament flanked a long wall at a ballroom at the Bellagio Hotel Resort & Casino and spilled out a side door Wednesday evening, January 8, 2014.
Global imagining leader, Canon, has been working with NCMEC for over 17 years and has donated thousands of products including digital cameras, fax machines, printers and scanners to help quickly distribute photos and information about missing children. The Canon4Kids program helps NCMEC raise public awareness of child abduction and exploitation issues.
The son of John Walsh, co-founder and CEO of NCMEC, six-year-old Adam Walsh disappeared from a Hollywood mall on July 27, 1981. Two weeks later, fishermen discovered his severed head in a canal 120 miles away. This year marks 30 years since NCMEC was officially opened due to the efforts of the bereaved parents. John and Revé Walsh endured over twenty years of anger and frustration before Hollywood police declared the case officially closed in 2008. They named the perpetrator of the heinous crime as Ottis Toole, a serial killer who died in jail in 1996.
Among celebrities too numerous to mention at the gala event of over 1,000 attendees were some of my personal favorites that I have had the privilege of interviewing over the past three years. In order of appearance on my radar were: the uncensored hypnotist Anthony Cools, the magical and musical duo of Jarrett & Raja,comedian and sidekick Douglas (Lefty) Leferovich, celebrity magician Murray Sawchuck and his wife, the lovely International Playboy Model and Playboy Cyber Girl, Chloe Crawford; impressionist Robert Nash, and John Payne, former front man for the iconic rock band, Asia, and producer and lead vocalist in the “Raiding the Rock Vault” show at LVH (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton).
The event was emceed by actor Richard Burgi and featured several special guests, including John Walsh of “America’s Most Wanted,” TV show, Patrick Warburton, Roger Clemens and Randall Cunningham. Over $438,000 was raised through contributions and a silent and open auction, which will benefit NCMEC’s mission of bringing missing children home. – Christine McKellar