The Wonderful World of Ms. Senior Nevada Beauty Queens

Photos by Nikki Artale

This year’s Ms. Senior Nevada contestants were poised, graceful and elegant in their self-confidence and youthful beauty. It truly was the year of elegance as the lovely women displayed their maturity in representing the senior citizens in Nevada. In the past I have always covered the Miss America and Miss USA and other pageants of 20 year olds and this Ms. Senior Nevada pageant was different. A pleasantly, impressionable and heartwarming experience of the most elegant women I have seen all together in a long time. I was moved by their beauty and talent. This year’s Ms. Senior Nevada is Kathleen Kat Ray who also won the talent part with her rendition of “The Lady is a Tramp”. Kathleen is a single mom, business owner, singer/performer with her 16 piece big band. She has lived in Las Vegas for 24 years. Nicole Duffel, last year’s winner crowned Kathleen Kat Ray.
Kathleen Kat Ray Ms Senior Nevada 2013

A special thanks to Charlie Christy, Executive Director and President of the Ms. Senior Nevada Pageant who always produces a wonderful event and makes everyone feel like a queen and special thanks also go to Dottie Reed, Secretary and Pageant Coordinator.
Dottie Reed and Charlie Christy

Masters of Ceremonies were Ron Washington, artist, writer and public speaker, and Mya Lake Reyes, who won the Ms. Senior Nevada title in 2008. Ron and Mya were delightful in their introductions and comments throughout the pageant.
Ron Washington and Mya Lake Reyes

Wes Winters made a special guest appearance and entertained the audience with his piano abilities. His tribute show to Liberace has wowed fans from all over the world. Wes Winters plays every Friday and Saturday in the Grandview Lounge at the South Point Hotel and Casino. 
Wes Winters

Another excellent entertainer Dondino brought his Italian charm and romance to the stage as he sang to the beauty queens. There were looks of love and admiration from the women as Dondino serenaded them with his powerful voice. Dondino was recently welcomed home at the Italian American Club after touring throughout the mid-west.



The Ovation Dancers put on a lively fast paced dance “All that Jazz” that showed the energy and showmanship of the group.



Selecting the winners were the judges: Donna Gummelt, Entertainment & TV Producer/Writer; Kimberly Rene, Choreographer/Dancer/Entertainer; Gary Anthony, Singer; Jessica Janner, ABC Channel 13 TV News Anchor; Janet Delaney, Senior Dimensions Volunteer Coordinator.

The runner ups were:  Sharon Klatt, 4th runner up, Rita Marantz, 3rd runner up, Kathleen Kat Ray, Ms. Senior Nevada 2013, Alecia Sobio 1st runner up, Priscilla Strommen, 2nd runner up.
Rita Marantz
Diane Carozzo
Priscilla Strommen
Linda Taner Delgado
Previous Ms. Senior Nevada winners came on stage to congratulate all the winners.
A touching moment was when Dorothy Garalnik, Ms Senior Nevada 1986 said she had tears in her eyes when Dondino was singing to all the beauty queens on stage, and she recalled how it felt when Dondino sang that song to her in 1986.
Dorothy Garalnik and Dondino

Nicole Duffel, the outgoing Queen shared how deeply honored she was to have represented the seniors of Nevada and for making this incredible journey the time of her life. We were all proud to have her represent the seniors for she truly is a lady of elegance, beauty and talent.
Nicole Duffel



Dondino Has Finally Come Back Home to Las Vegas

Photos by Nikki Artale

The Italian American Club on August 11, 2013 welcomed Dondino back to Las Vegas and the audience once again fell in love with the magnificent Dondino. Vibrant and stunning as ever, dressed in his signature tuxedo, Dondino captured the audience. His style and humor had the audience recalling memories of why they fell in love with him so many years ago when he first performed in Las Vegas from 1979 to 1984. Michael Gaughan hired him to play in the Royal Inn, which later became the Royal Americana. Onto the 4 Queens Hotel & Casino where he headlined for 11 years as a matinee show. Another calling came in Iowa where he opened a country club and many more years of success. In 1994 Dondino opened up his theater in Branson and then back again to Las Vegas where he will now live permantly.

Dondino’s talented band filled the room with music that touched the hearts and souls of everyone, from the Italian ballads to the beautiful music of Fiddler on the Roof and the powerful voice of Dondino.
Debbie Richards, Musical Director
Gary Queen
Don Johnson



Dondino was presented with a few awards and a proclamation from the Honorable Carolyn G. Goodman, Mayor of the City of Las Vegas. She proclaimed August 11, 2013 as Dondino Day, recognizing Dondino for donating his time and talents for over 25 years. Governor Brian Sandoval issued a Certificate of Recognition for Dondino’s charity work and achievements.

 Ms Senior Nevada Pageant recognized Dondino for his Outstanding Contribution to the Pagaent and Charlie Christy, the Nevada Executive Director presented the award. Dondino started the pageant in 1986.
Charlie Christy
 Assemblyman James Healey, district 35, presented Dondino with an award for his years of humanitarian work in the state of Nevada.
Asemblyman James Healey

Other longtime friends and fellow entertainers were on hand to welcome Dondino. Curt Thomson, Executive Director for Railroad Pass Casino and Gold Spike gave him his second engagement at the Frontier Hotel and Casino.
Curt Thomson
Jonas Vece
Jonas Vece known for his vocals for The McCoys, came to honor and support him.

Dondino and Donna Gummelt started the Read to me Foundation which donates books to Ronald McDonalds, Head Start programs and Children’s Hospitals. Donna writes them and Dondino does the music which are put on CD’s to go along with the books, and the books are narrated in Spanish and English to help children learn to read and speak English. He wants to help the children of today because he remembers coming to America as a young boy from Italy and not speaking the language because his family only spoke Italian in his home. He proudly tells the heartwarming story of going to school and learning to sing the song “America” by learning phonetically the words that took him 6 months to learn.

Dondino is officially home where he belongs and the audience let him know how they love him with the standing ovations they gave him. His connection to the people is charming and electric and his great humor and personality comes shining through. 

“Music is who I am” says Dondino and his mission is to love the people, connect with the people, entertain the people and make that one person happy.  He sure made more than one person happy that night. Butterfly kisses to you. We love you Dondino.




Sammy Shore Keeps the Laughter Rolling in the Wolf Theater

Photos by Nikki Artale

Comedy legend Sammy Shore returns with an outstanding new show at the Clarion Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas NV in the Wolf Theater. At 86 years old, Sammy Shore still has the energy and humor to keep the audiences laughing and shares the memories of the many years he has entertained us. Sammy recently has been doing his standup comedy in nightclubs and casinos in Las Vegas, Reno and Laughlin and he loves performing. I asked him if he was going to retire soon and he said never, he loves what he does. 
Sammy Shore

Pete Barbutti opens the show at “Legends of Comedy” for Sammy Shore, sharing stories and playing the piano. Pete is a well-known musician and comedian and known for being on the Johnny Carson Show from 1971 through 1992. Pete has a great rapport with Sammy Shore on the stage and it was fun listening to them tell memorable stories from the past. You could see and feel the big hearts of these two entertainers. 
Sammy Shore and Pete Barbutti

Sammy shared stories of Elvis Presley and proudly stating how he opened for Elvis at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel and Casino, and that he was known as the one who made Elvis Presley laugh. He owned the stage and looked very comfortable and in command and everyone enjoyed his humor.

Seen in the audience was world famous photographer Don Cadette and Master illusionist and magician Mickey Silver.
Don Cadette and Mickey Silver

If you want to reminisce and see a comedy legend on stage, go and see Sammy Shore at the Clarion Hotel & Casino at 305 Convention Center Drive. Sammy performs every Saturday night at 8:00 pm.
Nikki Artale and Sammy Shore

Disney Opens New Store in Fashion Show Mall

Photos by Nikki Artale

Disney Store celebrated a grand opening on Saturday, August 17, 2013 in the Fashion Show Mall at 3200 Las Vegas Blvd. South in Las Vegas. It is the fourth local Disney Store with 5,500 square feet of space. Each morning at the 10:00 am opening, a child is selected from the waiting crowd, to come in and open a giant padlock with a giant key. As customers enter the store they see all the familiar and wonderful toys, dolls and a magic castle.

Inside the Disney Castle is the Disney Magic Mirror that with the touch of a wand Disney characters magically appear. Beautiful ball gowns, crowns and magic wands line the walls. With their imagination, little girls can magically transform into a princess.

There are 35 themed items and one of the newest and special ones are Monsters University that has baskets full of items that the children can create their own monsters.

The children are very excited to watch videos in the Disney store Theater and they can create their own Magical moments. Come and visit and bring the children and your inner child and you too can wish upon a star and have some of your dreams come true too.

Store hours are 10 am to 9 pm Monday through Saturday and 11 am to 7 pm Sunday. Disney is located on the first level by Macy’s Men and easy parking in the yellow parking garage.