Opportunity Village Announces Gift of $35 Million Challenge Donation, Plans for 60th Anniversary, Village Residences Project and more

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – While celebrating its 60th anniversary at a private media event and press conference held at Sunset Springs Ranch, Opportunity Village announced yesterday they have been offered the largest monetary donation in the history of the organization – $35 million – from the Engelstad Family Foundation. Believed to be the largest private foundation gift ever given to an organization that serves people with intellectual disabilities, the generous amount will be provided as a challenge gift, which has already been partially matched by Dorothy and Lacy Harber, owners of Sunset Springs Ranch (former Wayne Newton estate), who came forward with a donation $10 million.


Ending with Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman’s proclamation of “Opportunity Village Year”, many other announcements were made, including plans to commemorate Opportunity Village’s 60th Anniversary with a full year of celebrations through May 15, 2015; plans for The Village residences, the organization’s first residential facility, and a permanent North Campus; a retrofit of its Oakey Campus, which houses the organization’s renowned Magical Forest holiday attraction; and an expansion of the Walters Family Campus, home of the Paper Prossm document management division. In an effort to secure the additional funding necessary for these projects, Opportunity Village also announced it will execute an aggressive $136 million Capital Campaign crucial to the success of the unveiled projects.

“While we are excited to celebrate and reflect on Opportunity Village’s accomplishments over the last 60 years, our work is not done,” said Linda Smith, Chief Development Officer of the Opportunity Village Foundation. She continued, “We have very ambitious plans, and with the help of benefactors like the Engelstad Family Foundation and the Harber Family, we can make these plans a reality. We encourage our community to follow their lead in helping to grow Opportunity Village so that we can someday meet the needs of every person on our waiting list.”


Smith continued, “Words cannot express our gratitude to the Engelstad Family Foundation. Their generosity will go a very long way toward positioning Opportunity Village for the next 60 years – and beyond.” She concluded by saying, “This truly is our year, and what an amazing way to kick-start our 60th Anniversary year of celebrations.”


Jeff Cooper, trustee of the Engelstad Family Foundation (center, left), presents a check for $35 million to Opportunity Village’s Executive Director Ed Guthrie (center) and President of the Foundation, Bob Brown (center, right); alongside OVIPs at a private media event and press conference held at Sunset Springs Ranch on May 15, 2014.


Lacy Harber (center, left), co-owner of Sunset Springs Ranch, announces her family’s commitment to partially match the Engelstad Family Foundation’s $35 million challenge donation with a $10 million gift to Opportunity Village, alongside husband Dorothy Harber (center) and Las Vegas mayor Carolyn G. Goodman (center, right) and OVIPs at a private media event and press conference held at Sunset Springs Ranch on May 15, 2014.


Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman proclaims May 15, 2014 through May 15, 2015 as “Opportunity Village Year” at a private media event and press conference held at Sunset Springs Ranch on May 15, 2014, where the organization announced a gift of $35 million challenge donation to be provided by the Engelstad Family Foundation.


About Opportunity Village

Mission: Opportunity Village is a not-for-profit organization that serves people within our community with significant intellectual disabilities, to improve their lives and the lives of their families.

Opportunity Village was founded in 1954 by seven families who were determined to give their children with disabilities the best lives possible. Now, 60 years later, Opportunity Village is one of the most recognized and respected organizations of its type in the United States.


Nevada’s largest employer of people with disabilities, Opportunity Village serves nearly 3,000 individuals annually, providing vocational training, employment, habilitation and social recreation programs and services that make their lives more purposeful and interesting.


Opportunity Village citizens – individuals who were previously considered unemployable – work at Opportunity Village’s Employment Resource Centers and in jobs throughout the community, collectively earning wages amounting to more than $7.6 million in 2012.  They are hard-working and diligent, proudly paying taxes and happily leading more fulfilling lives.


Primarily a self-funded organization, Opportunity Village generates the majority of its operational funding through its employment contracts and fundraising efforts such as the Magical Forest and Great Santa Run, saving Nevada taxpayers $33.7 million annually. 

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