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‘News Magazine’

Hi-Energy Forever Shows at the Riviera Wows Audiences

A non-stop, high-energy trip down memory lane

By Michael Clark for SDLV Magazine


Photo courtesy Red Mercury Entertainment

An old Broadway adage says that if delighted crowds bounce out singing the show’s songs, you’ve got a hit. The new Forever Doo Wop and Forever Motor City shows at the classic Riviera Hotel & Casino are both big hits.

I wanted to catch these shows when they first opened last spring. Recently, Donna Rose and I got the opportunity. During its short tenure, I kept reading and hearing good things about the shows. How they really capture the moment. And we were not disappointed one bit. The shows hit home runs on all fronts.

Veteran Broadway Director Gary Kupper brings together a brilliant and talented cast of former members of legendary Motown musical groups including The Spinners, The Main Ingredient and The Marvelettes.

The eight-member cast include Early Clover, who performed for 25 years as the lead singer of Cornell Gunter’s Coasters. He is joined by Grammy-nominated singer Jerome Jackson. Tonja Foster, Serena Henry, Terrence D. Forsythe, Gwendolyn Moore Forsythe, and Willie Greene, Jr. bring talent, looks and energy to the ensemble.

Both shows are produced by Red Mercury Entertainment, a live entertainment company that produces and manages shows and showrooms in Las Vegas.

Forever Motor City at 9pm offers a non-stop, high-energy trip down memory lane. The iconic Motown sound, featuring the hit songs we grew up on, is recreated so well it puts everyone into the moment. Songs include such American icons as Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, The Temptations and the rest of the renowned Motown roster.

Motown songs performed by the stellar cast include: “For Once in My Life,” “My Girl,” “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch,” “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” “Pride and Joy,” and “Stop In The Name of Love,” along with many others.

Both shows really engage the audience. Most of us know these songs and have sang them all a hundred times, and the cast invites everyone to join in, which we thought was great doo wop fun and a finger poppin’ time!

It’s a joy to get together with a crowd of mostly older folks who lived this music and join together to celebrate the greatness of the era. If you have family and friends visiting from out of town this summer, the Forever shows are a guaranteed good time at a modest price.

But don’t wait for company. Get together a group of friends and go some night soon. You’ll feel like a kid again.

That’s because there’s lots of dancing, both onstage and in the crowd. The Forever Do Wop show at 7pm features a trivia contest to keep everybody guessing, and the songs performed throughout the show are true American classics, including: “In the Still of the Night,” “Earth Angel,” “My Prayer,” “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “Maybe,” “Duke of Earl,” “Under the Boardwalk,” “Why Do Fools Fall in Love,” and many more Doo Wop hits.

Donna & I like going to the Riviera because it’s so easy to get there and park. We go to Paradise Road and turn west. Valet and self-parking are back there, and it’s just a short walk into the casino. Your party can get into a Strip property without having to drive on Las Vegas Blvd. Tickets for Forever Doo Wop and Forever Motor City are $39 plus tax and applicable fees for general admission and $59 plus tax and applicable fees for VIP seating. Both 70-minute shows are performed nightly at the Le Bistro Lounge inside the Riviera and tickets to each show are sold separately. Forever Doo Wop begins at 7:00 p.m., and Forever Motor City begins at 9:00 p.m.

All tickets can be purchased at the Riviera Box Office or through Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or Children under 12 are free with adult ticket purchase.

There is a 25% off senior discount on VIP tickets. The code is SNR25.

For more information on the shows and available packages, please visit


Funerals with a softer, gentler approach

By Michael Clark, SDLV project manager


Kraft-Sussman Funeral Services

Corporate America makes its presence felt throughout nearly every aspect of our lives, so it should come as no surprise that this has happened in the funeral industry. Not all corporations are equal, of course. Some do respond to customers’ needs better than others. But there is legitimate concern that corporations often work to satisfy the stock market’s desire for increased revenues and profits, usually at the customers’ expense.

It is comforting to know that here in Las Vegas, two Jewish mothers own a local funeral home.

Why did they choose this vocation?

“They felt obligated,” reported Danielle Nadler in her RJ View profile on how Laura Sussman and Wendy Kraft got to where they are. Nadler concluded that the gals chose willingly “a venture few feel called to.” She’s right, of course. Burying the dead is sacred, holy work.

“Our philosophy is to treat our clients as family and to provide an alternative to corporate-owned funeral homes,” the article reported. “We call it concierge funeral service.” Wendy Kraft explained.

According to a Vegas Seven (April 2011) article Kraft-Sussman Funeral Services is the only company in Southern Nevada certified by the Green Burial Council. Its goal is to reduce the number of toxins and waste in the funeral industry. It also encourages ethical and environmentally sound burial practices.


Wendy Kraft and Laura Sussman.

It makes sense that Wendy and Laura heard the calling.

“So I try to make myself as available as I can, whether that means meeting during off-hours or visiting a family’s home,” Laura Sussman was quoted in the magazine American Funeral Director (May 2012). “I understand the emotional toll illness and death can take on a family.”

These ladies are well known and respected. This reporter met them through their goal to help medical professionals understand the importance of the continuity of care from illness to death. (Other continuing care articles can be found in the Health Section at

Laura studied psychology, religious traditions, insurance, state laws, finances and all other background needed to run a funeral home before she took the certification exam for her Nevada funeral director license, Nadler reported.

Laura explained it this way, “we don’t have a lot of administrative layers and overhead so we’re able to keep prices low.”

And green.

“As people discover the alternative, they get interested. The national trend is quickly moving to green awareness. Plus, it costs less than a traditional funeral.

It’s pretty tough to put a smiley face on funeral decisions, but my Kraft-Sussman can make it more sacred, and perhaps take away some of the sting.

Nevada Senior Citizen of the Year 2014


Nevada Senior Citizen of the Year 2014
by Dr. Herb Randall

A “woman of valor,” Raymonde Fiol of Las Vegas, was chosen to be the Nevada Senior Citizen of the Year 2014.

The Nevada Delegation of the National Silver Haired Congress (NSHC) in partnership with the Aging Services Directors Organization (ASDO) established this award in 2013. Frank Pati of Mesquite was then selected to be the first-ever Nevada Senior Citizen of the Year.

The Director of Senior Services for the Jewish Family Service Agency, Ms. Nora Kraidman, wrote: “Mrs. Raymonde Fiol is on a mission for what we call in Hebrew “Tikkun Olam” – Repairing the World. Mrs. Raymonde Fiol has made it her life mission to preserve the memory of the Holocaust and to make sure Holocaust Survivors in our community and around the United States are provided with the services they need.”

Esther Finder, President, Generations of the Shoah – Nevada and member of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Education Relating to the Holocaust, described Mrs. Fiol like this: “Ray is a remarkable woman who has overcome tremendous hardships in her lifetime. She was three years old when the Nazis invaded Paris and by age seven her parents had been interned in concentration camps (ultimately murdered in Auschwitz) and she was in the care of a family of Righteous Gentiles who saved her. She now dedicates herself to making this world a better place and showing students, by her example, that despite the hardships people have to endure, they can make a good life for themselves.”

Ms. Finder continued: “Ray is the President of the Holocaust Survivors Group of Southern Nevada and is a member of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Education Relating to the Holocaust. She also serves on the Coordinating Council of Generations of the Shoah International (GSI), the largest Holocaust survivor family organization in the world.”

Ray Fiol arranges social events for the Las Vegas survivors, helps ensure that the ones in need get help from local agencies, and are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.

According to Esther Finder, Ray also schedules survivors to speak with teachers and students all around Clark County in both public and private schools at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. She also has worked with the film department at UNLV on two documentaries which are being submitted to film festivals. One of these features her quite prominently. Ray speaks about her emotionally painful childhood experiences because she believes that it is important to teach students that prejudice and discrimination can cause serious harm.

Ms. Finder wrote in summary: “Ray Fiol is what Jewish tradition calls a “woman of valor.” Despite her experiences as a hidden child orphaned by the Holocaust, her message is positive and optimistic. We are lucky to have her in our Las Vegas community.”

The annual award for 2014 will be presented at the ASDO Annual Luncheon in May, which is Older Americans Month. The Governor has been invited to present the award.

The Road to Healthcare Recovery Often Needs Continuing Care

A SDLV Health Report

Betty knew immediately that something was wrong. She told her husband to call for an ambulance. The emergency staff determined that Betty had suffered a stroke. She was admitted to the hospital where she stayed for several days.

When it came time for Betty to be discharged, the hospital staff knew she required continued care to recover completely. They developed a care plan for Betty to ensure her medical needs would be met, so she could make the quickest transition from the traditional hospital to home. This care plan introduced Betty to the healthcare continuum, a concept long advocated but only recently achieved.

continuum of carte
Betty’s plan of care determined that the most appropriate setting after her hospital stay was the Transitional Care Center in Kindred Hospital Las Vegas – Flamingo. The healthcare providers at Kindred offer the variety of nursing and rehabilitative services required to assist her in recovery from her stroke.

“Our goal is to help patients achieve positive outcomes, regain function and safely return home as quickly as their recovery allows, “ explained Esteban Duran-Ballen, Executive Director. “Our services include physical, occupational and speech-language therapy as well as skilled nursing and specialized short-term rehabilitative programs.”

“The transition-to-home plan begins upon admission,” Duran-Ballen stated. The typical stay at Kindred’s Transitional Care Center can last from several days to several weeks, depending on a patient’s specific needs.

Kindred’s Transitional Care Centers provide care for many clinically complex patients across the country. In addition to post-stroke recovery, treatment is offered for a variety of medical conditions including congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or pneumonia episodes, neurological illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease, cardiac conditions, wound care, uncontrolled diabetes and hip, knee or joint repair/replacement.

When Betty had rehabilitated enough to safely go home, her care team determined that it would be best to continue with nursing care and therapy in the home–with Kindred at Home services, and her plan of care went with her.

“Our expertise across the post-acute spectrum allows us to help people like Betty recover to her fullest extent by providing the right care at the right time,” Duran-Ballen stated.

Kindred offers services and points of care that span the post-acute care continuum through transitional care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, sub-acute units, nursing and rehabilitation centers, assisted living facilities and homecare and hospice. Kindred’s expertise in the post-acute spectrum allows helps patients recover to the fullest extent by providing care in the proper setting.

Kindred photo

For additional information, visit these web sites: for more stories  for more information on Continuing the Care

National Healthcare Decisions Day

Healthcare Decisions day flyer-page-001

Seeking state’s top senior citizen

The search for Nevada’s Senior Citizen of the Year begins on Feb. 1.

The National Silver Haired Congress Nevada Delegation, in partnership with the Aging Services Directors Organization (ASDO), established the award last year.

Frank Pati, a 76-year-old Mesquite resident, was honored by Governor Sandoval and the Congressional delegation as the first-ever Nevada Senior Citizen of the Year. Nominators described Pati’s efforts like this:

“In the past two decades, Frank not only brought distinction to Mesquite and the state of Nevada through his senior softball tournaments and the Mesquite Senior Games, he changed the lives of many seniors in giving them a vehicle to stay active and to develop new friendships.”

Who’s the next Nevada Senior Citizen of the Year? It could be a friend, a neighbor or a community leader. It could be someone from your town or across the state.

The competition is open to all those who are age 60 and older and have lived in Nevada for five years. The nomination guidelines and forms are available at

The deadline for nominations is March 31. The award will be presented in May.

Reverse Mortgage Tidbits #3



The top 3 things Seniors fear most are:
1. Will I outlive my money?
2. If I run out of money, what will happen to me and where will I live?
3. Will I become a burden to my children or my family?

Seniors come from an era of extremely strong work ethics and the thought of becoming dependent on others, or a burden to their family is unbearable. Many would give anything to be able to stay in their homes and be able to pay and bring the services they need into their homes.

As their “children”, you MUST get involved and start asking questions, so when the time comes, you know what they want, and what to do for them. Start asking, now!

With a Reverse Mortgage we can address these fears and make them disappear and replace them with peace of mind. No other program offers a remedy to fix these concerns. What we can give them is a way for them to stay in their homes, and in many cases give them access to money every month that will help them avoid becoming a burden to their loved ones.

For many Seniors, this is truly a dream come true. Call me 702-845-4632.


Reverse Mortgage basics:

62 years or older
No Income qualification
No credit score qualification
Owner Occupied Property
Borrower stays on Title
No monthly mortgage payment to the Bank

George Bus Pix2

George Lagarde
Reverse Mortgage Consultant
NMLS ID# 18581
702-845-4632 Cell

Derfelt Senior Center Grand Reopening

SDLV was on site at the grand reopening of the Derfelt Senior Center outside Lorenzi Park. The new center offers the nearby community a wealth of programs, resources, and classes. Michael Clark spoke with Principal Community Program Specialist Erin Radke about the center and the good things to come.

Derfelt Senior Center
3343 West Washington Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89107
Phone: (702) 229-6601

Business Hours: Tuesday-Friday 8am-5pm

Exclusive SDLV Discount for “Casablanca” at the Smith Center!

Spend a romantic Saturday afternoon at The Smith Center with this dynamic new presentation of the timeless classic featuring the full-length film screened with Max Steiner’s lush orchestral score performed live by the Las Vegas Philharmonic.

SDLV is working together with the Las Vegas Phil to bring to exclusive $15 tickets to the Saturday, February 15th matinee. These tickets sell for between $46 and $64 normally–an over 50% discount! Simply click on the link below or call the Smith Center Box Office at 702-749-2000 and give them the code “SDLV.”



Veteran’s Quilt Reception at Montara Meadows

On January 23, 2014 Montara Meadows had a “Veterans Quilt Reception.” A group of ladies from the Heritage Park Senior Center in Henderson, called the Thursday Quilting club, have been making quilts for Veterans in Las Vegas. They made 45 quilts for Montara Meadows. They brought them to the community on Thursday, January the 23rd. The VFW 10047 was present, channel 13 news was present, along with over 100 of Montara Meadows fine residents and visitors.