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“Up On The Roof” Memorializes Murder Victim Matthew Shepard With ‘ERASE HATE: A Celebration of Love’ Theme

Las Vegas Market will host the 8th annual “Up on the Roof” gala charity event benefiting Gift For Life, the sole charitable organization for the gift, stationery and home décor industries, on Monday, July 30, 2018, during the Summer 2018 Las Vegas Market, running July 29 to August 2, 2018. The 2018 fundraiser will be themed “ERASE HATE: A Celebration of Love,” in connection with the 20th anniversary of the death of murder victim Matthew Shepard, an event that shocked the nation and galvanized support for the gay and lesbian community.

“Las Vegas Market is deeply committed to the industry’s chosen charity, Gift For Life, and its critical mission to raise funds for HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention, education and advocacy,” said Esther Ossei-Anto, senior marketing manager, International Market Centers and a newly-appointed Gift For Life board member. “This year, our supportive efforts take on a new dimension, with the theme of ‘ERASE HATE: A Celebration of Love,’ memorializing the 20th anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s murder, a turning point in the American conversation about hate and how we as a people address our fears around things we do not know or understand. Las Vegas Market is proud to lend our voices to this dialogue and to demonstrate our continuing dedication to the industry charity.”

Judy Shepard, Matthew’s mother, will be attending the Summer 2018 Las Vegas Market and the Up on the Roof benefit. Leading multi-line sales agency Fine Lines will host a special “meet-and-greet” with Shepard on Monday, July 30 from 12-4pm, in its showroom on C10, including a special signing of her book, “The Meaning of Matthew, My Son’s Murder in Laramie and A World Transformed.”

“In today’s environment, more than ever, it is important that we remember Matthew, the impact of his murder and the tremendous work, love and passion that resulted,” said Matt Katzenson, Fine Lines chief executive and vice-chair of Gift for Life.

Fine Lines is the sales and marketing representative for Chavez for Charity, a supplier of signature colorful bracelets, necklaces and earrings that are sold to raise awareness and funds for critical causes worldwide, including a special Matthew Shepard 20th anniversary commemorative bracelet to be introduced at the Summer Market.

“Supporting The Matthew Shepard Foundation has been a key part of Chavez for Charity’s DNA from day one,” said Julie Chavez, founder/chief creative officer of Chavez for Charity.

“Years later, the impact of Matthew’s story continues to be an emotional topic and a catalyst for opening dialogues on fear, love and acceptance. We are grateful to The Matthew Shepard Foundation for being a true partner, and could not be more proud to stand behind such an important cause. The 20th anniversary of Matthew’s murder has certainly been a meaningful reminder of why we do what we do. In 2018, our primary focus is the ‘Erase Hate’ initiative and sharing Matthew’s story with the world.”

Judy Shepard, president of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, “Chavez for Charity has been a longtime supporter of the Matthew Shepard Foundation’s work towards erasing hate, and for that we are very thankful. I’m excited to be at the Las Vegas Market and to finally be meeting folks in the gift industry family.”

The 2018 Up On the Roof event will be held on Monday, July 30,6pm – 8pm, in the WorldView Ballroom on the 16th Floor of Building B. Party-goers will enjoy a full bar, hors d’oeuvres, dancing, a silent auction, entertainment and an opportunity to purchase The Chavez for Charity Matthew Shepard 20th anniversary commemorative bracelets and “ERASE HATE” t-shirts. Up on the Roof tickets, which cost $25 each, or five for $100, are available online at https://splashthat.com/sites/view/upontheroof2018.splashthat.com and at specially-designated kiosks onsite in the Grand Plaza, C10 and in the Pavilions during Las Vegas Market. Proceeds from the 2018 event will benefit DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS and The Matthew Shepard Foundation.

Held annually at the Summer Market, the popular Up on the Roof fundraiser typically draws a crowd of some 300 to 500 industry executives, who join together to eat, drink, dance, network and raise funds for the industry’s chosen charity in a spectacular setting. In 2017, Las Vegas Market’s “Up on the Roof” raised more than $15,000 to benefit Gift For Life.

Las Vegas Market is the nation’s fastest growing gift and home décor market and the leading furniture marketplace in the western U.S., presenting 4,300+ gift, home décor and furniture resources in an unrivaled market destination. Las Vegas Market features thousands of gift, furniture and home décor lines, allowing for cross-category commerce among these industries. The Summer 2018 Las Vegas Market runs July 29 to August 2, 2018. For more information, visit www.lasvegasmarket.com.

About International Market Centers, L.P.

Las Vegas Market is produced by International Market Centers, L.P. (IMC), the world’s largest operator of premier showroom space for the furnishings, home décor and gift industries. International Market Centers owns and operates 12.2 million square feet of world-class exhibition space in High Point, N.C. and Las Vegas. IMC’s mission is to build and operate an innovative, sustainable, profitable and scalable platform for the furnishings, home décor and gift industries. For more information on IMC, visit http://imcenters.com/.

ABOUT GIFT FOR LIFE and DIFFA

Gift for Life unites the gift and home industries against AIDS with more than $5 million raised since its inception in 1992. In 2008, Gift for Life selected DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS, one of the largest funders of HIV/AIDS service and education programs in the U.S., as its sole charity partner. Since its founding in 1984, DIFFA has mobilized the immense resources of the design communities to provide more than $42 million to hundreds of AIDS organizations nationwide. With help from Gift for Life, in 2016, DIFFA National granted more than $374,000 to 36 organizations providing treatment, education, prevention and advocacy. More information is available at www.giftforlife.org.

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