Cultural Arts Foundation together with local politicos and community partners recognize veterans
Shelley Berkley addresses the crowd as Cheryl Prater and Paul Padda look on.
By Sharon Chayra
Las Vegas Informer
Inaugural event shines focus on need for more support after combat
When Lance Parvin founded the non-profit Cultural Arts Foundation, his vision was to provide a resource to individuals to improve their well-being through health vis-á-vis martial arts and fitness training. In the process he realized that a grossly underserved community were veterans, particularly those suffering from the effects of post-combat stress, also known as post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. Parvin developed a curriculum inclusive of exercise, meditation, Pilates/yoga as well as support and found a niche. A niche that 28 year-old Army veteran, Julia Thompson, found as a place for solace and support.
“People don’t understand PTSD. It doesn’t just affect us, it affects our family and friends too.” said Thompson, as she and select veterans, civilians, and community leaders were recognized for their support of the military’s heroes. Her acceptance speech drew a standing ovation.
Michael MacDonald, Andre’ Haynes & Lance Parvin
The inaugural Veterans Appreciation Day was hosted July 27 at the Cultural Arts Training Foundation. André Haynes, principal of Endeavor Media Group, served as the event’s producer and partner.
Those recognized included L. J. Harness; Gregory Anderson, SPC; Army-retired Julia M. Thompson; Paralyzed Veterans of America, Nevada Chapter; Veterans in Politics, International; Veteran’s Treatment Court, and former-Congresswoman Shelley Berkley. Certificates of recognition were bestowed to them along with proclamations from the City of Las Vegas City Council, and Congressman Steven Horsford’s emissary.
The event enjoyed a groundswell of friends and family members’ support including Heather Marianna, creator of Beauty Kitchen, who made gift bags for honorees, and mistress of ceremonies, Cheryl Prater, Mrs. North America Globe.
Sponsors included Brooks Brothers Bail Bonds, Big Dog’s Cafe and Casino, Cadillac of Las Vegas, Cohen & Padda – Attorneys at Law, Dunkin’ Donuts, Real Water, Internal Medicine Specialists, Pleasant Smiles Dental, Target and Via Brasil Steakhouse.
Sharon Chayra is an award-winning writer and president of a medical marketing firm based in Las Vegas. A traveler of life, Chayra integrates her science background with spirituality resulting in common sense observations to others on their life’s journey. Given her heritage of Apache and Scottish, she is a born storyteller and documents experiences about personal growth, culture, laughter and health into the written and visual word.