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Philanthropy Advisors Newsletter | Q2 2018

Staying connected to our community requires an open mind, an active ear, and the ability to find a way to say "yes" even when an overly full plate is telling us "no". I continue to learn and be inspired daily by the magnitude and depth of service and giving that our clients bestow onto others. I have also observed that giving comes in many forms: it can be an idea, an act of kindness, a gift, a donation, service to others, and the desire to uplift neighbors in need. As the landscape of Las Vegas has evolved over the past several years with several large-scale construction projects, the addition of professional sports teams, an expansion of the art and medical districts, and the redevelopment of downtown, so too, has the spirit of philanthropy grown. The synergy among Las Vegas and its citizens have expanded our valley from a city known primarily for its rapid growth to one viewed from a new lens - a lens of philanthropy, connection, collaboration, and strength. My team and I are honored to have facilitated the ideas and dreams of many whose visions are clear, actions undeterred, and goodwill un-wavered. No matter the size of the lens by which philanthropy is viewed, there is no mistaking the goodness that thrives in this amazing city - a place we can all be proud to call home.  

Warm Regards,
Julie Murray
CEO & Principal

How a Community is Shaped by

Throughout my career, I've been blessed to have met and developed meaningful relationships with others that have truly changed my life. As Moonridge Group enters its seventh year of operation, I am humbled as I reflect on the various philanthropic projects we've had the privilege to lead. Our work is diverse and our clients distinct, but at the core of our daily work is an unwavering commitment to be part of something bigger than ourselves - something that truly shapes the pulse of our community - one shaped in large part because of philanthropy. 

7th Annual Philanthropy Leaders Summit - the best yet!

Over 400 funders and special guests packed the Las Vegas City Council Chambers and were welcomed by Mayor Carolyn Goodman. Three distinct philanthropy panels featured a sports panel, next generation panel, and youth panel. The sports panel included Las Vegas Raiders Foundation Executive Director, Chris Mallory; President of the Vegas Golden Knights Foundation, John Coogan; and Simon Keith, Chief Operating Officer, Nevada Donor Network. Mr. Keith holds the distinction of being the first athlete in the world to play a professional sport after undergoing a heart transplant. Following the Summit, Mr. Keith shared "Thank you for including me in this year's Summit. What an incredible event you host! I was truly humbled and privileged to participate and am thankful that there are people in the world fighting the good fight like you guys! The group was clearly high functioning and delivered fantastic content throughout". All the amazing and thoughtful panelists contributed to the palpable, kinetic energy that distinguishes this year's summit. Moonridge Group is honored to work with philanthropists of all ages, from the extraordinary youth who spoke at the Summit, to long-term funders of corporations and family foundations. The goal was to inspire, connect, and inform funders about the latest trends in giving. Thanks to the outstanding speakers, sponsors, and attendees... mission accomplished! 

Moonridge in Mexico: Collective Impact in Action

Julie Murray’s long-time friendship with Cindy and Carlos Santana was the basis for an annual volunteer trip led by Moonridge Group to Carlos’ hometown of Autlan, Mexico which is home to 60,000 people, many of whom do not have access to healthcare and dental services. However, the TIOPA Santuario de Luz medical clinic founded by Carols and Dr. martin Sandoval 11 years ago is a thriving place of hope and care for over 2,000 people annually. In order to achieve the greatest social impact, Moonridge Group recruits the volunteer services annually from extraordinary Las Vegas doctors and dentists who spend time together in Autlan delivering life-saving services. 


This summer marked the 4th annual Healthcare Volunteer Trip which included UNLV Dental School dentists, and Nevada State College Nurses to provide health and dental care to the children and families in Autlan. As a result, many lives were uplifted and plans for further collaboration between the UNLV Dental School of Medicine and the Nevada State College of Nursing School are underway. Also, plans to help raise funds for a cafeteria to be built are also underway as many of Autlan’s children have limited access to healthy food. The greatest social impact occurs when done collectively. Contact the Moonridge Group at in you’re interested in helping to raise funds for the cafeteria or to join the annual volunteer trip.

Building a Resort and a Community: Moonridge Group Leads the Way in Vancouver with Parq’s CSR

As strategic advisors, the Moonridge Group has been fortunate to have guided several businesses and foundations about engaging their workforce and the local community towards an optimum return on charitable and community investment. The relationships and trust built over the past decades have paved the way for Moonridge Group to partner with Paragon Gaming’s newest venture, Parq Vancouver. Our experience with guiding previous hotel and resort properties set the stage for Moonridge Group to create a distinctive charitable giving and community investment campaign. Moreover, the extraordinary vision of Dianne Bennett and Scott Menke to develop a world-class property in the heart of British Columbia that leads with community investment at its core resulted in a unique collaboration.


Developing giving guidelines and community engagement practices typically evolve as an organization or property establishes its foothold in a community. The grand opening of Paragon Gaming’s Parq Vancouver Hotel & Casino in British Columbia not only includes a series of world class opening events, but a charitable alignment with the volunteer movement which provides a distinct advantage of opening with a sound Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) plan right from the start.

The Parq CSR will support the establishment of the hotel’s brand while clearly expressing to the community its values, core beliefs, and priorities.  In addition, Moonridge Group’s leadership of Parq’s Community Engagement Committee will provide ongoing governance to ensure future philanthropic events align with strategic community investments. Under the tactful leadership of our very own Julie Murray in conjunction with Ross Miller and the Parq Vancouver team that includes Yasmine Roulleau, Tamara Hicks, Amy Rossetti and Jasmine Marchant, Moonridge Group is thrilled to have navigated the Parq team in translating their commitment to being good corporate citizens to compatible and actionable community investment and stakeholder relations. The following Bloomberg Business News link click here captures the essence of Parq: Moonridge Group is honored to have played a part.

Philanthropy Spotlight:  A Cut Above: Mr. Tom Thomas

As with his passion and goal to reach the top of all 7 summits, Tom Thomas is a cut above who soars to great heights on and off mountain tops through his generosity and charitable giving. Moonridge Group is proud to recognize Mr. Tom Thomas for the 3rd Quarter 2017 Philanthropy Spotlight.

After completing his legal studies in 1986, Tom joined the Valley Bank of Nevada as vice president and chief legal counsel. Following his career in banking, he joined the Thomas & Mack Corporation to oversee the real estate and wealth management operations of the organization. For over two decades, Tom has been intimately involved with numerous charitable organizations. He has chaired the UNLV Presidents Associates, the Opportunity Village Foundation Board, the Board of Governors of the Utah Shakespeare Festival, and served as President of the Las Vegas Rotary Club and Moonridge Group’s Greater Good Council. He is active in Rotary, and was also instrumental in establishing the Thomas & Mack legal clinic and the Thomas & Mack Moot Court Facility, both at the UNLV  Boyd School of Law. In addition to serving as chairman of the capital campaign for the Englestad Campus of Opportunity Village, he serves on numerous boards including Southwest Gas Corporation. However, one of the reasons he is viewed as a success is because of the extraordinary work he does in philanthropy and his love of family.


Congratulations, Tom! 

 Tom at Mt. Vinson

Upcoming Events

What: Join us and learn how philanthropy can positively impact your business, employees and customers.

Date: Friday, September 15, 2017

Time: 8:00 AM to 11:30 AM

Location: Nevada Museum of Art - 160 W Liberty St, Reno, NV 89501

Contact: Melody Zita at


What: An intimate gathering of individual funders and family foundations. For more information on joining this collective impact group, which shares best practices and discusses current needs of Las Vegas.

Quarterly Meetings: Third Quarter Meeting on September 19, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
: Melody Zita at


Quarter 3: Friday, September 22, 2017
Time: 9:00am to 12:00pm – Lunch 1:00-2:00pm
Location: The Center – 401 S. Maryland Parkway
Contact: Kristy Keller at


What: A council of corporate funders who meet quarterly to network and share best practices in corporate giving.
Quarterly Meetings: Third Quarter Meeting on September 28, 2017

Time: 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM

Contact: Melody Zita at


What: Please join us for ONE DROP’s Walk for Water at Springs Preserve and pay tribute to the millions of women and children who spend hours a day collecting water as well as raising funds and awareness for local youth education and conservation. The walk will start at the Smith Center and end with a family-friendly event at Springs Preserve including live music and entertainment, food, carnival games and much more.  Sign up on keyword ONE DROP

Date: Saturday, October 21, 2017
Time: 8:30 AM to 11:00 AM
Location: The Smith Center to the Springs Preserve
Contact: Tiffany Twohig at

Leaders Summit 2018
Moonridge in Mexico
Building a Resort
Philanthropy Spotlight
Upcoming Events

Images Courtesy: Parq Vancouver

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