Leno to stage benefit performance in Biloxi

Jay Leno, America’s late night leader for nearly two decades as host of the #1 rated “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” has announced he will perform a benefit for Mississippians impacted by the Gulf oil spill.

“Stand Up for the Gulf Coast: A Special Evening with Jay Leno to Benefit the Gulf Coast Community Foundation” will take place Saturday, Aug. 21 at 8 p.m. in the Beau Rivage Theatre. All proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s Mississippi Oil Spill Recovery Fund, established to benefit and support nonprofit organizations working to help Mississippi Gulf Coast communities, individuals and wildlife impacted by the oil spill. The fund not only provides emergency grants to nonprofit organizations helping the victims of the oil spill, but it helps address the long-term economic, environmental, cultural effects of the disaster and strengthen coastal communities against future environmental catastrophes by investing in solutions.

“It’s great to be able to do shows like this,” Leno said. “We did it for flood victims in Iowa; we did it for auto workers in Detroit; we did it for victims of Katrina and others. We tell a few jokes and help out people.”

“Not only is Jay one of the country’s premier comedians, he and his wife Mavis are incredibly generous people,” said George P. Corchis, Jr., president and chief operating officer of MGM Resorts International’s Mississippi Operations, which includes Beau Rivage in Biloxi and the Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica. “Even though he is one of America’s favorite and busiest TV personalities, he remains passionate about performing in front of live audiences and enjoys helping those in need. We are honored to have him grace our stage and host a post-performance meet & greet cocktail reception for his fans – all to benefit oil spill victims in the region.”

Following in the footsteps of legendary NBC late-night hosts Steve Allen, Jack Paar and Johnny Carson, Jay Leno began serving as the host of the Emmy Award-winning and top-rated “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” in 1992. His outstanding and engaging combination enabled “The Tonight Show” to capture its timeslot for a remarkable 15 consecutive years.

Tickets for the benefit are $40, $80 and $150 each, plus tax. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling the Beau Rivage Ticket Office at (888) 566-7469 or visiting www.beaurivage.com or www.ticketmaster.com. The $150 tickets include an exclusive Jay Leno meet & greet reception with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails and are only available for purchase through the Beau Rivage Ticket Office at (888) 566-7469. Beau Rivage is extending a special Jay Leno Benefit room rate for guests who book before August 14. For hotel reservations, call (888) 767-5687 and mention offer code “Leno show.”

“The Gulf Coast Community Foundation is deeply honored to be a part of this wonderful event and is uniquely positioned to serve our community,” said Rich Westfall, Gulf Coast Community Foundation president. “We are excited to have the opportunity to administer the funds through the Gulf Coast Community Foundation Mississippi Oil Spill Recovery Fund in a way that is consistent with the wishes of Jay Leno to lessen the impact of human needs created by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.”

For those unable to attend the benefit but interested in making a donation to the Mississippi Oil Spill Recovery Fund, please visit www.mgccf.org or call (228) 897-4841.