Shakespeare Ranch Rodeo raises more than $400,000 for brain health |

Shakespeare Ranch Rodeo raises more than $400,000 for brain health

Camille and Larry Ruvo hosted the Shakespeare Ranch Rodeo Friday as a benefit fundraiser for Keep Memory Alive and the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. On Saturday, world-renowned restaurateur and chef Emeril Lagasse prepared an intimate dinner at Shakespeare Ranch where singer/songwriter Lionel Ritchie was a surprise guest.

Friday’s rodeo raised $110,000 from ticket sales and the silent auction. More than 300 people attended the rodeo, which also featured a watermelon-eating contest, barbecue buffet and silent auction.

Eighty-five guests attended Emeril Lagasse’s dinner on Saturday. The auction raised $315,000, which included personal songs performed by Lionel Richie live and a weekend with Emeril. Memorable moments of the evening include Lionel Richie singing to the two auction winners: “Happy Birthday” to Shelley Kim and “You are so Beautiful to Me” to Barry and Roseanne Stull, a couple celebrating their 39th anniversary. Lagasse and Richie also joined the band America in singing “A Horse with No Name.”

Money raised benefits Keep Memory Alive, a Las Vegas-based nonprofit that supports work towards enhanced treatments and research of neurocognitive disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, Huntington’s disease and memory disorders of all kinds. KMA also supports enhanced resources for caregivers who live with those afflicted by these disorders.

Dating back to the early 1940’s, the rodeo was an annual highlight for Glenbrook until it was discontinued in 1965. The Ruvos, along with the McGill Family, resurrected the rodeo in 2000, featuring bull riding, bronco riding, ribbon roping , barrel racing and a pig race for children.

“We’re honored to work with Waco McGill and his family to keep this great Lake Tahoe tradition alive,” Ruvo said.