Ever since its creation in 2013, Mondays Dark has been a weekly beacon of light shining on the humanitarianism of the Las Vegas entertainment community.
The performance-driven nonprofit fundraising organization will celebrate its fifth anniversary Monday, December 17, in The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino with what it is calling “Las Vegas’ Philanthropic Event of the Year.”
Guests can toast the occasion with a glass of Champagne, bid on luxurious items and enjoy a stellar night of entertainment from Vegas’ top entertainers. Mondays Dark will begin at 8 p.m. with doors opening at 7 p.m. Live and silent auction items include show, art and concert tickets; dining packages; jewelry; and spa treatments. America’s Got Talent finalist Daniel Emmet, Reckless in Vegas, Tenors of Rock, LED percussion crew Drumbots, singer Jassen Allen, and musician Kenny Davidsen will be among the performers.
“What began as a party has grown into an organization that has exceeded everyone’s expectations, including mine,” said Mark Shunock, founder of Mondays Dark. “Las Vegas is constantly doing red carpet events and when I came up with the idea, I was performing in the show Rock of Ages. Entertainers were always invited to walk the red carpet just for the sake of walking the red carpet. I thought that it would be great to have these entertainers come together to perform and raise money for a good cause. So I threw a party to raise money for Opportunity Village (a not-for-profit organization in Southern Nevada serving adults with intellectual and related disabilities).”
Mondays Dark now raises money for 21 charities each year. “Why 21? It’s because no one comes out the Monday after New Year’s, but the fancy excuse is that 21 is a Las Vegas number,” Shunock said. “We fundraise for a different local charity each week, and we never repeat a local charity. At our anniversary event on Monday, 21 representatives from our 2018 charity partners will be present as will 21 representatives from our 2019 charity partners that will be announced at the event. That’s 42 local charities under one roof. And we have 150 charities waiting to partner with us.”
To that avail, two years ago, Shunock opened The Space, a community-driven arts complex that is a haven for art and artists in Las Vegas and is the permanent home of Mondays Dark. The Space has hosted a variety of locally produced plays, musicals, 21 Mondays Dark events, theater workshops, community gatherings, private parties, concerts by top entertainers, burlesque and comedy showcases. A few familiar faces seen onstage so far include Vegas headliner Penn Jillette, award-winning performer John Lloyd Young, Tony Award winner Alice Ripley, and FX comedy series Baskets star/standup comedian Louie Anderson.
Mondays Dark, in 2019, will surpass $1 million raised for Las Vegas nonprofits since its inception. The 2018 charity partners included White Horse Youth Ranch, St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Miracle Flights,Baby’s Bounty,Tyler Robinson Foundation, HELP of Southern Nevada, New Vista,Positively Arts Foundation, Speedway Children’s Charities, Forgotten Not Gone,Cure 4 The Kids Foundation, Sin Sity Sisters, Leaders in Training (LIT), Down Syndrome Organization of Southern Nevada, Alzheimer’s Association,Officer Down,Adam’s Place,Yellow Pants Project, The Children’s Heart Foundation and Las Vegas Firefighters Youth Hockey.
“Most activists have a specific mission,” he said. “We partner with everyone. Mondays Dark is more about raising awareness and helping charities raise money. I just see myself as someone who cares and has the opportunity to give back.”