Top Performers to Raise Awareness for Neurofibromatosis
Las Vegas’ top entertainers hit the stage to celebrate the 13th Annual NF Hope Concert on Sunday afternoon, October 22, 2023. The performers will join forces with entertainment-loving philanthropists to raise much needed funding to fight against the often-misunderstood disorder of neurofibromatosis.
NF Hope Concert founders Jeff Leibow, of The Fourmers and of “Jersey Boys” fame, along with his wife Melody, bring back the annual event enlisting some of the city’s most celebrated performers to the prestigious Myron’s at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. The lobby opens at 11:30 a.m. for silent auction viewing, with the entertainment portion beginning at 1 p.m. Tickets start at $49 and can be purchased by calling 702-749-2000 or by visiting www.thesmithcenter.com/nfhope.
For people who wish to watch the event from the comfort of home or outside of Nevada, livestream tickets are also available for the performance. The NF Hope Concert benefits Neurofibromatosis Network, an organization dedicated to aiding families and individuals suffering from Neurofibromatosis (NF).
Since the inaugural event in 2011, the NF Hope Concert has grown with every passing year, with more than $1.5 million raised for Neurofibromatosis research and advocacy, as well as producing events in three cities – Las Vegas, New York City and Chicago. The event will be hosted by consummate emcee and top radio personality, Chet Buchanan.
This years NF Hope Concert features singing sensation American Idol finalist Jasmine Trias, entertainer, songwriter, and producer Ben Stone; newcomer Gabie Lopez; the Las Vegas Academy Choir; Toscha Comeaux and more, along with Jeff Leibow and Melody Leibow with a special guest appearance by daughter Emma Leibow, who now is a proud student at Las Vegas Academy of the Arts.
“The real heroes in this fight are the NF families,” says Jeff Leibow. “They are the reason we have worked so hard for the last 13 years, and they are the reason why we will do everything we possibly can to make a difference.”
Neurofibromatosis (NF) is a genetic disorder of the nervous system characterized by tumors that can grow on any nerve in the body without warning. The Leibows’ young daughter, Emma, was diagnosed with this condition in 2010 when she was just nine months old. As Leibow and his wife Melody learned more about the disorder’s devastating effects, they conceived the idea for the concert with the realization that they had an obligation to both their family and the more than 130,000 people living with NF to educate others about the disorder. Although it is a common genetic disorder, most people are not aware that one in 2,500 people are born with it making it more common than cystic fibrosis, hereditary muscular dystrophy, Huntington’s disease, and Tay Sachs combined.
Emma continues to inspire her parents and those around her with her courage and resilience. This past summer Emma had her third surgery, necessitated by a large tumor in her leg that stretches from her hip to her knee. She is now mature enough to understand what it really means to have NF, so this surgery took a mental toll on her that her previous surgeries did not. Her recovery, in all senses, has been an eye opener for the entire family. It has been a sobering reminder of what NF families face every day and the helplessness that NF parents can experience. It has emphasized for the Leibows why it is so important to continue raising awareness and funds to help fight this disorder to make a difference for Emma and the tens of thousands living with it.
“This has really been a challenging year for Emma,” says Melody Leibow. “The more grown up she gets, the more she understands the realities of having NF. Teaching her to advocate for herself will be an important next step in the journey. All the more reason for the work we do to support NF Network’s invaluable programs.”
For 2023, the NF Hope Concert honors Tena Rosser, M.D. with the Advocate of Hope Award. Dr. Rosser has been the heart of Emma’s NF team at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles for more than 13 years. She has spent her entire career working with pediatric neurology patients including a significant number of NF families. The Paul Bodner Memorial Award, an honor presented to a member of the NF community who exemplifies what it means to turn life’s lemons into the sweetest lemonade, will be presented to Sahil Shah. Sahil launched SketchNF with his brother in 2022 as a way to raise awareness for NF and empower NF kids to actively participate in fighting the disorder.
Tickets start at $49 and can be purchased at any box office at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, online via Smith Center NF Hope or by calling 702-749-2000 (TTY 800-326-6868). A select number of sponsorships are available. Sponsors include ad space in the annual Tribute Journal, sponsor recognition and prime seating at the October 22 concert. For more information about becoming a sponsor, email in**@nf****.org.
The NF Hope Concert also features a lavish silent auction including priceless experiences, ticket packages to the top shows on the Strip, hotel stay packages, celebrity experiences, restaurant gift certificates, and more. Early access to the silent auction begins Friday, October 13 via http://nfhopelv23.givesmart.com/. The auction will open for viewing 11:30 a.m. on the day of the event. For more information on NF Hope, visit NF Hope. You can follow NF hope on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The 2023 NF Hope Concert is sponsored by presenting sponsors SpringWorks Therapeutics and Alexion Pharmaceuticals along with All Western Mortgage, Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters, PENTA Building Group and Findlay Toyota. In addition, a private contributor has offered a generous $20,000 matching donation and challenged Leibow to cultivate new annual donors to generate the match.