Three Thousand Supporters Joined AFAN at 25th Annual Black & White Party

August 30, 2011 by  

Absinthe’s Melody Sweets, Chris Saldana and Absinthe’s Angel Porrino
Last night, supporters, glitterati and Vegas entertainers joined Aid for AIDS of Nevada to party for a cause at the 25th Annual Black & White Party at the Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas (Picured above: Absinthe’s Melody Sweets, Chris Saldana and Absinthe’s Angel Porrino Photo credit PBTH/ Beckie Payne).  

More than 3,000 guests filled the venue for an evening of delicious tastings, chilling libations and entertainment that can only be found on the Vegas Strip.

Le Reve performers
Le Reve performers

Photo credit PBTH/Tonya Harvey.

The evening began with a VIP pre-party at the Boom Box room inside the stunning Marquee Nightclub, where 200 of Vegas’ elite sipped on specialty VIVID Vodka AFAN-tinis and enjoyed nibbles from The Cosmopolitan’s trendy steakhouse, STK. Marquee’s Resident DJ Lisa Pittman was on the turntables spinning mainstream hits with an eclectic and indie flair. AFAN Executive Director Jennifer Morss took a moment to recognize supporters as well as the Community Counseling Center of Southern Nevada. A portion of the proceeds from the VIP party were donated back to the CCC and Morss presented Deputy Director Antioco Carrillo with an oversized check for $8,000. Dina Titus was next to congratulate AFAN on all its successes while pledging her support for years to come.

Check Presentation
Check Presentation

Photo credit PBTH/Beckie Payne.

As it grew closer to 9 p.m., hundreds of partygoers lined up outside the Boulevard Pool entrance, highly anticipating what to expect as they entered the venue. Ladies with live parrots and men on stilts walked the line, taking time to pose with enthusiastic fans for photos. Excitement peaked as the doors opened and partygoers were engulfed in a multisensory experience that brought on waves of strolling entertainment, staged performances and enticing aromas from prominent Vegas restaurants.

Jennifer Morss, Board Member Scott Washburn, Board President Patricia Saavedra, Earl Shelton
Jennifer Morss, Board Member Scott Washburn, Board President Patricia Saavedra, Earl Shelton

Photo credit PBTH/Tonya Harvey.

The smoldering evening was cooled with libations from six different liquor vendors all offering a unique drinks. Booths including Jose Cuervo, Montecristo Rum, Moet Champagne, Trader Joe’s, Absolut Vodka and Ketel One were spread across the multilevel pool allowing for guests to pursue the venue at their leisure. Ice bars were a unique way of chilling beverages prior to quenching the thirst of partygoers and offered comical photo ops with their creative designs.

25th Annual Black & White Party
25th Annual Black & White Party

Photo credit PBTH/Tonya Harvey.

One of the many highlights of the evening was the tasting provided by some of the best restaurants in town. The Cosmopolitan brought in some of its very own restaurants to offer small dishes from Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill, Comme Ça, D.O.C.G., Holsteins, and STK. Other extraordinary restaurants featured delectable bites including BOA Steakhouse, Sushi Roku, BRIO Tuscan Grill, Rubio’s, P. F. Chang’s, Outback, The Cupcakery, The Cookie Zoo and Winder Farms. Each served up their signature plates as guests raved about the chef’s pure genius in flavor combinations.

Entertainment was fed constantly to guests through the form of strolling and staged performances. With two stages to view acts on, partygoers enjoyed a fire fan show and a Lady Gaga impersonation on the secondary stage while Wynn Las Vegas’ Le Rêve provided a breathtaking synchronized swimming routine in the pool. Lighting up the entire venue with their vibrant red ensembles, the ladies of Le Rêve did a water tango that left the crowd begging for more.

Host and emcee Chris Saldana took main stage multiple times throughout the evening, informing guest of new entertainment and even jumped in the pool to join the Le Rêve ladies following their performance.

Longtime supporters Penn & Teller addressed the crowd with their humorous nature and announced that the annual party had already raised $60,000 from presale tickets and donations. The duo then held a poolside meet and greet, where they signed autographs and took pictures with reveling fans.

Absinthe’s Melody Sweets closed the evening center stage to give partygoers a sultry taste of what they can experience at the Stripside show. Playing the part by dressing in all black and white, she pranced across the stage while singing her signature opening act tune. Angel Porrino, who does a tap dancing routine in the avant-garde circus show, joined Chris Saldana on stage to show her support for AFAN as an injured knee hindered her performance.

Shortly after 1 a.m. the event came to a close, and AFAN thanked partygoers for their continual support and attendance in the night’s festivities.

About The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is a unique luxury resort offering a decidedly different perspective, situated in the heart of The Strip. The resort’s uniquely vertical multi-tower design offers spectacular views of the vibrant city. The new 2,995-room resort features oversized, residential-style living spaces with expansive, one-of-a-kind private terraces. The Cosmopolitan’s luxurious resort amenities include a 100,000-square-foot casino; Sahra Spa & Hammam; three unique pool experiences at The Pool District; Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub at The Cosmopolitan, a multi-level integrated nightclub; and 150,000 square feet of state-of-the-art convention and meeting space. An eclectic lineup of new-to-market retailers include AllSaints Spitalfields, Beckley, CRSVR Sneaker Boutique, DNA2050, Droog, Molly Brown’s Swimwear, Retrospecs & Co, Skins 6|2 Cosmetics and STITCHED. Signature restaurants include Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill by restaurateurs Bruce and Eric Bromberg; Comme Ça by Los Angeles Chef David Myers; Estiatorio Milos, by international restaurateur Costas Spiliadis; Holsteins from Block 16 Hospitality; Jaleo and China Poblano restaurants by acclaimed Chef José Andrés; Scarpetta and D.O.C.G. by award-winning Chef Scott Conant; and popular steakhouse STK from The ONE Group.

For more information visit:

About AFAN
Aid for AIDS of Nevada (AFAN) was founded in 1984 and is the oldest and largest AIDS service organization in the state of Nevada. 2009 marked AFAN’s 25th anniversary of practicing its unyielding commitment to the community by providing unparalleled health expertise, support and advocacy for adults and children living with and affected by HIV/AIDS in southern Nevada. Over the years, AFAN has created various programs that offer consistent and comprehensive assistance including direct client service programs, food programs, prevention and education programs and community outreach. As part of AFAN’s mission, these client service programs assist in enhancing the physical health and psychosocial wellness of the individuals they serve, while promoting dignity and improving the quality of their lives. For more information, please visit

Keep up with AFAN events and news on Facebook and Twitter.

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