Gaming and hospitality giant Las Vegas Sands announced Tuesday Sands Cares funding of over $142,000 for The LGBTQ Center of Southern Nevada, extending the company’s partnership with the Southern Nevada’s nonprofit organization serving the LGBTQ+ community.
Sands describes The Center as being a vital part of Las Vegas for more than 25 years, offering inclusive, life-enriching programs, events, education and support groups for people who identify as LGBTQ and allies of the community. It serves as the hub for an array of essential resources and care, including food and meal delivery, physical and mental health and care services and community advocacy.
Sands’ contribution will support two important capacity-building initiatives to help The Center expand services, while generating recurring revenue to sustainably fund programs: continued support for the Arlene Cooper Community Health Center with funding for a new exam room and counseling rooms to accommodate growing demand for services, and an investment for renovation of The Center’s event center.
These contributions accompany The Center by helping transition the Cooper health center into a full-service medical clinic on the path toward becoming a Federally Qualified Health Center in 2023. The contribution also enables The Center to upgrade the events center to deliver enhanced offerings that provide revenue-generating income through special events and rental fees.
With six different rooms and space for up to 600 people, the events center is home to a variety of the Center’s offerings including health education programs, support and advocacy group meetings, as well as rental events and celebrations such as weddings, concerts and theatrical productions.
In an official press release, John Waldron, CEO of The Center, spoke about this contribution and said: “Sands continues to be a dedicated partner in helping us realize our strategic vision to better serve the LGBTQ+ community by investing in initiatives that support our long-term sustainability and deliver critical resources to support our mission."
"The Sands Cares funding helps us provide life-saving resources to positively impact the lives of people in crisis, victims of crime and individuals seeking medical assistance in a safe and supportive environment, as well as delivering affirming programs and services for the LGBTQ+ community," added Waldron.
The 2022 Sands Cares funding continues the partnership established in 2021, through which Sands helped close out phase one of the Center’s capital campaign to expand the Arlene Cooper Community Health Center in downtown Las Vegas.
Funding at the time enabled The Center to advance plans to provide full onsite health and wellness care for LGBTQ+ and low-income downtown residents, while supporting the organization's long-term goal of generating recurring revenue through the clinic to sustain its LGBTQ+ programming in Southern Nevada.
Through Sands Cares and other community funding, the health center was able to increase patient service days to six from four in 2021, while expanding its offerings to include treatment for individuals unable to pay for services, outreach activities for communities most vulnerable to HIV infection, education programs for people living with HIV, prevention collateral to inform at-risk communities, and medical supplies used to treat conditions related to sexual health.
Ron Reese, senior vice president of global communications and corporate affairs, who spearheads corporate responsibility for Sands, added: "The progress The Center has made with the health center over the past year has been remarkable, which gave us strong confidence in expanding our support to include the events center as another capacity-building focus of our partnership."
"The health center and the events center are two key assets that both serve the LGBTQ+ community and ensure the long-term sustainability of The Center," Reese further commented. "We look forward to seeing their continued progress in these endeavors."
These efforts come during Pride Month, celebrated in June. Throughout the month, Sands will also be collaborating with The Center on events to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, including the organization's annual PrEP Rally that helps educate the community on HIV prevention and other resources for harm reduction.