Las Vegas Market to Host 8th Annual Gift For Life Fundraiser

July 3, 2018

International Market Centers is gearing up to host its 8thannual “Up On the Roof” gala charity event during the Summer 2018 Las Vegas Market, running July 29-Aug. 2. 

Set for the evening of July 30 in the WorldView Ballroom, the 2018 fundraiser will benefit Gift For Life, the sole charitable organization for the gift, stationery and home décor industries, and will be themed “ERASE HATE: A Celebration of Love,” memorializing the 20thanniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard, whose murder shocked the nation and galvanized support for the gay and lesbian community.

Held annually at the Summer Market, the popular Up On the Roof fundraiser typically attracts 300-500 industry executives who join together to eat, drink, dance, network and raise funds for the industry’s chosen charity. In 2017, “Up On the Roof” raised more than $15,000 to benefit Gift For Life. 

“Las Vegas Market is deeply committed to the industry’s chosen charity, Gift For Life, and its critical mission to raise funds for HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention, education and advocacy,” said Esther Ossei-Anto, senior marketing manager of International Market Centers and a newly-appointed Gift For Life board member. 

She continued, “This year, our supportive efforts take on a new dimension, with the theme of ‘ERASE HATE: A Celebration of Love,’ memorializing the 20thanniversary of Matthew Shepard’s murder, a turning point in the American conversation about hate and how we as a people address our fears around things we do not know or understand. Las Vegas Market is proud to lend our voices to this dialogue and to demonstrate our continuing dedication to the industry charity.”

Judy Shepard, Matthew’s mother and president of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, an LGBT nonprofit organization founded by Shepard and her husband Dennis in 1998, will be attending the Summer 2018 Las Vegas Market and the Up On the Roof benefit. 

Leading multi-line sales agency Fine Lines will host a special “meet-and-greet” with Shepard in its showroom on July 30 from 12-4 p.m. that will include a special signing of her book, “The Meaning of Matthew, My Son’s Murder in Laramie and A World Transformed.” 

“In today’s environment, more than ever, it is important that we remember Matthew, the impact of his murder and the tremendous work, love and passion that resulted,” said Matt Katzenson, Fine Lines chief executive and vice-chair of Gift for Life.

Fine Lines is the sales and marketing representative for Chavez for Charity, a supplier of signature colorful bracelets, necklaces and earrings that are sold to raise awareness and funds for critical causes worldwide, including a special Matthew Shepard 20thanniversary commemorative bracelet to be introduced at the Summer Market. 

“Supporting The Matthew Shepard Foundation has been a key part of Chavez for Charity’s DNA from day one,” said Julie Chavez, Chavez for Charity founder and CCO. 

She continued, “Years later, the impact of Matthew’s story continues to be an emotional topic and a catalyst for opening dialogues on fear, love and acceptance. We are grateful to The Matthew Shepard Foundation for being a true partner and could not be more proud to stand behind such an important cause. The 20thanniversary of Matthew’s murder has certainly been a meaningful reminder of why we do what we do. In 2018, our primary focus is the ‘Erase Hate’ initiative and sharing Matthew’s story with the world.”

Proceeds from the 2018 charity event will benefit DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS, one of the largest funders of HIV/AIDS service and education programs in the U.S., as well as The Matthew Shepard Foundation.

“Chavez for Charity has been a longtime supporter of the Matthew Shepard Foundation’s work towards erasing hate and for that we are very thankful,” Shepard said. “I’m excited to be at the Las Vegas Market and to finally be meeting folks in the gift industry family.”

To learn more about Up On the Roof and to purchase tickets, go HERE.


Don’t miss any event news! Sign up for any (or all) of our e-newsletters HERE & engage with us on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn & Instagram!

Add new comment

Partner Voices
One of the most iconic names on the Las Vegas Strip just got an upgrade. Mandalay Bay has everything that your business needs from a refreshed convention space designed to inspire productivity and creativity, to an impressive selection of world-class restaurants and amenities. If you're looking for a venue that's both inviting and innovative, you have to be here. New Wave Experiences Mandalay Bay continues to invest in a new wave of enhancements both in the convention space and within the resort as a whole. New restaurant openings including Orla by Michael Mina, drawing inspiration from the award-winning chef’s childhood in Egypt and with flavors and décor inspired by the spices found in markets common to coastal Mediterranean towns, as well as Caramá by Wolfgang Puck, bringing the essence of Italy and spirit of Wolfgang into one concept, are recent additions. The Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas also experienced a recent remodel of all 424 rooms. Swingers, a high-end, adults-only golf and entertainment concept will debut in Fall 2024. Enhanced Technology Creating a truly effective conference venue requires careful thought into what a business needs: the right technology, capacity, and inspiration to bring ideas to the next level. As part of the resort’s refresh, Mandalay Bay implemented state-of-the-art technology upgrades, installing cutting-edge Cat6A Ethernet cabling throughout the convention center. This advancement doubles the frequency of data transmission, enabling lightning-fast speeds up to 9400% faster. The convention center now boasts 11 dynamic digital walls, spanning up to 24' x 13', strategically positioned for brand placements, sponsorships and targeted event messaging. Additionally, attendees can benefit from 20 double-sided 55" mobile flexible display units, facilitating effortless navigation to meeting rooms and events. RFID locks were installed on all meeting room doors, and over 200 motion detection cameras have been placed throughout the space. Refreshing New Design & Fine Art The newly remodeled convention space provides a bright and vibrant atmosphere that complements Mandalay Bay's tropical-inspired brand. Featuring white-washed walls and ceilings adorned with bold floral patterns in cerulean and coral tones, the space is complemented by warm walnut accent walls. In addition to the redesign of all pre-function spaces, meeting rooms and ballrooms, Mandalay Bay's 1 million square feet of exhibit space has undergone a rejuvenation, including new paint, covered pillars and relocated strobe lights. Sustainable Spectacles Mandalay Bay is committed to Focused on What Matters and creating more responsible meetings. Refillable water stations all available around the resort, cutting unnecessary plastic usage from single-use bottles. The Mandalay Bay campus’ recent upgrades represent a bold step forward in redefining the Las Vegas experience. With a focus on innovation, sustainability, and unparalleled service, Mandalay Bay sets a new standard for excellence in business hospitality. Whether you're seeking cutting-edge conference facilities, world-class dining options, or simply a luxurious retreat, an unparalleled meeting experience awaits.