Heralding the holiday season in a most festive way, Southern Highlands in tandem with Olympia Companies Charitable Foundation, recently hosted its annual Winter Festival and Tree Lighting. A popular way to kick off the holidays as well a welcome opportunity for neighbors to safely gather in the spirit of the season, this year’s event was a holly jolly good time filled with food, family, friends, and festive fun benefiting Operation Warm Heart, a private, nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance to the local airmen and their families of the Nellis and Creech military community.
This year’s Winter Festival and Tree Lighting was bigger and better than ever and featured photo opportunities with the Grinch, Olaf and Anna, and of course with Old’ Saint Nick himself. Kids had the opportunity to write letters to Santa, create gingerbread crafts, drink hot chocolate, and watch a short Olaf movie. The highlight by far though was the two Holiday Express Trains that took passengers on a fun journey through the perfectly decorated event space.
A DJ spun some holiday hits and the choir from nearby Desert Oasis High School spread their harmonic holiday cheer as they caroled throughout the festival leading up to the magical moment when the enormous Christmas Tree was officially lit.
Attendees also enjoyed browsing and shopping in the Vendor Village and many were spotted picking up perfect stocking stuffers and holiday gifts created by local artisans. There was no shortage of food and drinks as popular food trucks including Stripchezze, Flattop’s, The Cake Wagon and Bubbles & Brews were on hand to serve up delicious favorites.
In all, through the sales of train ride tickets, holiday swag including reindeer antler headbands and light-up necklaces, and toy and monetary donations including from Olympia Companies Charitable Foundation, the annual event raised $12,600. More than $2,000 of that was in toy donations for Operation Warm Heart families and children. The Olympia Companies SH Charitable Foundation and Southern Highland have long been proud supporters of Operation Warm Heart. In addition to the Winter Festival and Tree Lighting, other community-focused events including the annual Memorial Day Celebration and the Governor’s Black-Tie events have also served to support this worthy organization.
Enjoying idyllic 70-degree weather and clear autumnal skies, the annual Fall Festival hosted by the Southern Highlands Community Association proved to be a bountiful day of fun at Goett Family Park. Held on Saturday, Oct. 16, the seasonal celebration featured inflatables, carnival-style games, bounce houses and slides, a rock wall, zip line, raffles, costume contests, plenty of pumpkins, field games, vendor booth trick or treating, music, food, drinks, entertainment, and fun for the whole family.
Attended by hundreds of Southern Highlands families from the surrounding neighborhoods, the free community-focused event also served as a fundraiser to benefit the Southern Highlands Boys & Girls Club – who provide a safe and fun place for kids to grow and thrive through life-enhancing and mentor-ship programs and Andson – who provide financial literacy and academic mentoring programs in the Las Vegas Valley. Through raffle ticket, food and beverage, and pumpkin sales, $11,000 was ultimately raised for the impactful charities.
Creativity was on full display with imaginative costumes spotted throughout the event including favorite characters from television and film, an abundance of superheroes, scary skeletons, fairy princesses, and more. Standout family costumes were eye-catching and included two little hotdogs with their parents, ketchup and mustard, and a multi-generational Nightmare Before Christmas ensemble.
Families enjoyed a number of photo opportunities with festive seasonal backgrounds including a spooky Halloween themed one as well as a fall harvest setting. Not surprisingly, picking out pumpkins was also a fun family favorite this year with residents of all ages inspecting the bounty of pumpkins available.
Throughout the day, live performances from Las Vegas Circus Center and Southern Highland’s Gotta Dance Studio kept event attendees amazed and enthusiastically entertained.
A big thank you to all who attended this year’s Fall Festival with special appreciation for the many volunteers and sponsors.
Having the right school supplies, clothing, and hygiene items can make a big difference for homeless, displaced, and disadvantaged high school students who are currently struggling as they pursue their education. Research shows that students with the appropriate school supplies can improve grades, creativity, attitude towards learning, behavior, and self-image – increasing their chances for success at school.
To help meet the need of Clark County high school students who were preparing for the 2021-2022 school year, Southern Highlands partnered with non-profit Project 150 on a Back-To-School Collection Drive for new school supplies and full-sized hygiene items.
The generosity of the community really shined through as school supplies, hygiene products, personal items and cash donations totaling more than $1,100 were secured and dropped off at either the OMS office or at Perk Up Coffee Shop.
All collected items went to Project 150’s Betty’s Boutique. Eligible high school students were then able to shop for their free items.
With a mission to provide support and services to homeless, displaced, and disadvantaged high school students so they can remain in school, graduate, and build bright futures, Project 150 has been serving Nevada students in need since 2011.