I had written this article, prior to the announcement by Angelina Jolie, that she had taken the precaution to have her breasts removed, because she had the gene for potential breast cancer. That makes this column even more important!
I first ran into Shellee Renee around the early ‘90s, when she was a member of the world famous Crazy Girls cast at the Riviera Hotel. As a matter of record, her rear-end is part of a famous billboard that eventually ended in a more famous sculpture that faces the Las Vegas Strip, at the hotel. The statuesque blond is one of the smartest, if not THE smartest, ladies to dance in that show over the years. She also happens to be one of the nicest ladies you’ll ever meet. She believes in a famous quote, “I’ve never met a person I didn’t like.” And, thank God, I count myself one of those persons. After dancing in Crazy Girls from 1990 to 1996, she decided to attend the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications, and upon graduation joined my world—Public Relations.
Shellee broke in as a public relations expert for a restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip, where she immediately went to work meeting a lot of the important people of Las Vegas—and who would in turn begin to help her get the word out about her clients. Renee never faltered in the pursuit of a good story for her clients. Soon her work was recognized by one of the major Public Relations Firms in Nevada, R&R Partners, where she worked for two years. From there she moved on to MGM Resorts International and eventually landed her dream job with the Charlie Palmer Group.
In 2010, Shellee’s life came crumbling down, when she learned her mother had brain cancer, and she immediately left Las Vegas to be with her mom in Portland, Oregon. “Mom passed soon after I got there,” she said. “I was devastated.” Shellee returned to Las Vegas, but in the back of her mind, she wanted to reconnect with her family, and in June, 2012, our blond bombshell, moved back home to the Pacific Northwest. She had always been very aware of the possibility of cancer, and had regular medical checkups, which always included a mammogram. After arriving home to Portland, she received the diagnosis from her most recent mammogram. A mass on her right breast, measuring approximately five centimeters, was discovered. It had to be removed by mastectomy. The procedure was done, where it was then discovered that the cancer had also invaded the lymph cells. So, for the next six months, our gal underwent chemotherapy, which was followed with six weeks of radiation. On April 11, Shellee Renee had her last radiation treatment. She is now saving up for, and raising funds for, her reconstruction surgery. You can help by donating at the Paypal link set up by friend and former showgirl (now producer of X Burlesque), Angela Stabile.
Click on http://www.xburlesque.com/shellee-renee-319 to access her donation page.
Throughout this process, our gal continued her work with the Autism Community Trust in Las Vegas (www.autismcommunitytrust.com), remotely recruiting 100 artists through social media, to create guitar art for an auction to benefit families affected by autism. Their willingness to donate their time and incredible talent kept her inspired.
“The most amazing part of this whole process was the incredible amount of love and support my showgirl family and friends in Las Vegas showed me,” Shellee smiled. “They wrote cards, Emails, texts and checks to make sure I could pay my rent, and car payment, when I was too ill to work. They sent flowers and made phone calls and showed me so much love. They even got together and had a fundraising party for me in November!”
Now that her treatment is finished, she is finally back in Las Vegas, and getting back on her feet with a new position as Catering Sales Manager for Charlie Palmer Steak at the Four Seasons. “The Pacific Northwest is my home, but Las Vegas is my life. And, thanks to all my friends who kept my spirits high, and made me feel like I wasn’t fighting this alone. There are so many to thank, but I want to mention a few who I owe a special thanks to: Matt and Angela Stabile, X Burlesque, artist Terry Ritter, PR Plus, Karen and Michael Boychuck, Robin Leach, Aki Levin, Nicole Navarro, The Charlie Palmer Group, the girls from Crazy Girls, and my brother Shaun, and the rest of my huge Vegas family, including the many show kids who have helped me along the way. I wouldn’t have gotten through this without you guys. I love you all.”
THIS AND THAT QUICKLY:
The 2013 Super Summer Theatre opens its 38th season with two performances of “Broadway Meets Hollywood” on Friday, May 17th & Saturday, May 18th at the Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, located 10 miles west of 215 on Charleston. The presentation takes a look at some of the hits from past Super Summer Theatre musicals that have appeared both on stage and the silver screen. This mini-concert will provide audiences with a glimpse into “backstage life” during the creation process. As the performers begin to arrive for their final rehearsal, the stage takes shape, the lights are set and the cast is finally ready for this season’s Opening Night. Produced by United Production Works, for two nights only. Parking opens at 5 p.m. and Meadow seating opens at 6 p.m. The show will begin at 7:30. Guests are encouraged to throw down a blanket, or bring/rent a chair in general-admission grass seating where many share a picnic dinner, and enjoy the outdoors before settling in under the stars for some super theatre. Purchase your tickets online through our “print at home” option at www.ShowTix4u.com. Advance sale tickets are $8 per person. Park entrance after 5 p.m. is free with a show ticket. The Super Summer Theatre 2013 Season includes The Music Man (June 12-29), How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying (July 10-27), Legally Blonde The Musical (August 7-24) and The Producers (September 5-21). For more information, call 702.594.7529.
The Speedway Soldiers’ Run will take place on Monday, May 27 (Memorial Day) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Proceeds from the combination 5k run or one-mile walk will benefit the Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities and the Wounded Warrior Project. The event will honor the men and women of the U.S. armed forces. The retro-styled ladies of Pinups for Patriots (www.pinupsforpatriots.com) have volunteered to support the event. A pinup for Patriots’ mission is to “bring back the patriotism of the WW II era while supporting military veterans and their communities.” Pinups for Patriots partners with non-profits to better serve the veteran community and are devoted to lifting the spirits of deployed service member. Registration will take place at 7:30 a.m. with opening ceremonies at 8:45 a.m. The race will begin at 9 a.m. on the 1.5-mile superspeedway. All participants ages 12 and older must register. All pre-registered participants will receive a t-shirt and bib on the day of the event. Strollers are welcome, but no pets, please. Online pre-registration is $35. Registration on the day of the event is $40. Participants may register online at http://m.active.com/running/las-vegas-nv/speedway-soldiers-run-2013. For more information, please call Paulette Anderson at (702) 632-8242 or e-mail SCC LV at [email protected].
Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. (EPE), Las Vegas’ famed Fremont Street Experience and the celebrated tribute artist production “Legends in Concert,” celebrating its 30th birthday, presented the 4th Annual Las Vegas Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest in Downtown Las Vegas this weekend. On Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11, the only Las Vegas EPE-sanctioned preliminary round of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest had 19 Elvi from around the world competing for a chance to advance to the finals held during Elvis Week 2013 in Memphis. Guest judges, Linda Thompson, Elvis’ long-time girlfriend, and personal bodyguard, Sam Thompson, determined the ‘best representation of the Elvis legacy’ based on vocals, style, stage wear, and stage presence.
On Saturday, the top 10 competed and Las Vegas resident Chad Collins was crowned Las Vegas’ ‘King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’ winning $2,500 cash, a Graceland Getaway prize package and most importantly, qualifies to compete in the 2013 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest presented by EPE in Memphis, Tenn. during Elvis Week 2013 held August 10-17. The winner of the contest will be offered the opportunity to sign a performance contract with “Legends in Concert,” $20,000 cash, recognition by EPE as the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist of 2013 and a selection of other valuable prizes.
Well, gang, that’s about it for this week. Please take a second to help my friend, Shellee Renee.