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Diana’s Aerial Daring—and Big Benefit

The legendary Diana Dennis, bodybuilding champ and and one of the greatest posing artists of all time, says she’ll be flying through the air at a benefit performance for a pair of worthy causes that’s taking place in Las Vegas on the evening of Sunday, July 27. That’s the night after the NPC USA Championships, so if you’ll be in town, you’ll want to check it out.

The program is called, “Humanity”—“a tapestry of talent woven together by uniquely gifted artists, come together with one cause in mind, Humanity,” say Dennis and her co-creator in the venture, Kristi Toguchi, a director, aerialist and magician who taught Diana the daring art of aerial silk acrobatics. “Presented by Artists for Burn Victims and 9/11 First Responders, ‘Humanity‘ will showcase a variety of performers dedicated to making a difference for those who suffer the most.”

Dennis, who has lived in Las Vegas for some years, was supposed to make her debut on the aerial silks at a bodybuilding show. When the show was canceled, Diana was offered the use of the Cashman Field Theater, and an idea was born. “We have gathered together our friends from the performing arts world for a noble cause,” Kristi says. “What started out as a performance for a bodybuilding show has evolved into a night of culture and philanthropy.”

The women were inspired to create this event because they both had experienced personal tragedies involving burn victims, they say.

Trevor Dennis is Diana’s young grandson. His life was forever changed on New Year’s weekend 2005. While [his family was] camping in Ocitillo Wells (San Diego desert), the trailer where eight-year-old Trevor was sleeping caught on fire. Trevor was severely burned over 30 percent of his body. His entire respiratory system was destroyed. The Grossman Burn Center has been instrumental in Trevor’s ongoing recovery.

“Trevor’s fate was in the hands of the doctors at the Grossman Burn Center. The doctors at the burn center were wonderful, I want to give the center something back for all that they have done,” Diana says.

“Kristi’s cousin, Daniel Moynihan was a first responder after the 9/11 attacks. His health has never been the same since then. Over the past 6 1/2 years more than 200 first responders have died and thousands have become ill due to the environment at the site. Kristi has seen firsthand how this has affected her family.”

“The primary mission of the FealGood Foundation is to spread awareness and to educate the public concerning the catastrophic health effects suffered as a result of 9/11,” Diane and Kristi say. “Many first responders, true heroes, have been burdened with financial responsibilities due to medical costs and lost wages. The FealGood Foundation provides financial relief to these heroes.”

The performances by Diana and Kristi are just the beginning of the program, they say. “Other artists and performances include, Rhythma Drums; Lindley Lopez Circus; Alin Campan, dancer; Suwasit, dancer; Otgo Waller, contortionist, Erica Vanlee Band: Gina Sempadian, singer and songwriter; Adam Garza, singer, and Darren Zatkow.”

Admission is free, but donations will be accepted and appreciated.

Once again, the date is July 27. The time is 7 p.m. and the place is Cashman Field Theater, 850 N. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89101.

Photo: A classic Michael Neveux shot of Diana Dennis.

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