Criss Angel and Holly Madison played Mr. and Mrs. Claus this morning and donated cash and dozens of toys to support Help of Southern Nevada’s holiday toy assistance program.
The donations were made in conjunction with KLUC 98.5 FM’s 10th annual toy drive.
“To give back gives you a feeling that’s really priceless and, you know, you can’t buy that feeling anywhere with all the money in the world, so that’s why we like doing these things,” Angel said.
Rather than a horse-drawn sleigh, Angel’s shiny black Rolls Royce ferried the couple as they spread some holiday cheer.
The magician’s $7,500 monetary donation was a joint contribution from Angel, the Luxor Hotel and Casino, and Cirque du Soleil.
Luxor president Felix Rappaport and vice-president and general manager of Cirque du Soleil’s Vegas operations, Jack Kenn, were also on hand this morning to share in the spirit.
“What I always say is people don’t know the real Criss, and this comes much closer to being the real Criss than what people see on TV or the stage,” Rappaport said. “He’s a very giving person. He’s got a big heart; he loves children, loves families, appreciates where he’s come from.”
Angel and his new girlfriend chose to support Help of Southern Nevada, which provides assistance to families and individuals to overcome barriers and attain self-sufficiency, because the program helps local Las Vegas families.
“He chose the charity because it goes directly to the people of southern Nevada and Las Vegas in particular,” Angel’s spokesman, Steve Flynn, said. Angel has lived in Las Vegas full-time since 1994. Meanwhile, Madison has been visiting the city on a weekly basis ever since she and the Mindfreak magician started seeing each other about two months ago.
Despite a busy schedule that includes 10 weekly performances of his new Cirque du Soleil show, Believe, and production for his hit A&E show, Mindfreak, Angel said charity work is very important to him.
“I think it’s the essence of what’s important in life,” Angel said. “If we all looked out for each other a little bit more, I think we wouldn’t have a lot of the crisis that we have in today’s society.”
The Make A Wish Foundation last year gave Angel a Chris Greicius Celebrity Award to recognize his generous support.
A budding philanthropist, Angel said he has recently founded his own charity that will benefit the needy.
“I have my own foundation, which I just started, called Believe Anything Is Possible, which is going to be an organization to help the underprivileged,” Angel said.
“It’s mainly focused on kids (but it will support) anybody who’s really in desperate need,” he said, adding that the foundation’s first fundraising event will be held early in the new year.
Those who wish to support the toy drive benefiting Help of Southern Nevada can drop off new unwrapped toys at the Nevada Power Pearson Office at 6226 W. Sahara Avenue.
In addition to Angel and Madison, multi-platinum recording artists Usher and Akon have also thrown their support behind the cause.
The station’s holiday initiative gathered 2,300 bicycles, 13 semi trailers full of toys, and $67,000 in gift cards for local families in need last year.