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  • Donny Thompson, M.S., NPA


JOI concluded a multi-week fall giving campaign on “Giving Tuesday” in December at a special campaign-ending jazz dinner event held at D’Agostino’s Trattoria. This was our first effort of this type and a big undertaking for an organization as limited as we are without an army of volunteers who would typically hold large roles in the implementation and success of such a drive. JOI had never raised more than a couple thousand dollars at any single time, so it was an impressive vote of confidence when our Board of Directors agreed to set a campaign goal of $10,000, funds we knew would be needed to ensure proper funding of the Essentially Ellington Regional High School Jazz Band Festival in late January, the launch of the new Las Vegas Youth Jazz Orchestra, and other efforts key to our growth in 2020. We are pleased to report that with your support, we exceeded our goal!

A portion of our campaign provided a direct benefit to the UNLV Division of Jazz and Commercial Music (Dir. Prof. Dave Loeb and Debra Loeb attended) which, with the support of the UNLV School of Music, co-hosts the Essentially Ellington festival with JOI. Our capstone event at D’Agostino’s featured our friend and great jazz artist Laura Taylor with the JOI Trio. Our friend and JOI Advisory Council member Nathan Tannenbaum kicked things off and guests, including arts and music leaders, politicians, business owners, and philanthropists, were treated to an intimate evening of impeccable jazz and outstanding Italian food and wines from Chef Dan and Brandi Thompson. We’d like to thank everyone who gave generously throughout our 8-week campaign and came to our culminating jazz dinner! You “Made A Difference!”

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