Press Release

Opportunity Village Announces Yearlong 70th Anniversary Celebration

LAS VEGAS (January 30, 2024) – From a living room meeting of concerned parents in March 1954 to a social enterprise with six locations and over 700 employees in 2024, Opportunity Village has a lot to celebrate during its 70th anniversary. In honor of the milestone, platinum anniversary, Opportunity Village has an iconic year planned. To help kick things off, Opportunity Village received celebratory messages from Jimmy Kimmel, Actor Steve Buscemi, Baseball Hall of Famer Andre Dawson, and Bandleader/Vegas Headliner Brian Newman, with many more special surprises in the works.

In mid-February, Opportunity Village will open its first new location since 2021, the East Las Vegas Neighborhood Club, located at 6050 E. Bonanza Road. Then on March 21, Opportunity Village is unveiling a new event, A Runway Affair, a luncheon and fashion show featuring world-renowned fashion house J. Mendel and its celebrity stylist designer and CEO, Gilles Mendel.

“It’s our 70th year, and we are so thankful to our community for their continued support for what we do at Opportunity Village. We have a lot to be grateful for this year, and we want to celebrate with the Las Vegas community,” said Bob Brown, president and CEO of Opportunity Village. “The services we provide are more necessary than ever, and we intend to be around for a long time to serve people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Southern Nevada.”

To that end, Opportunity Village will break ground this fall on the $55 million Northwest Community Center and Betty’s Village North project, located at Thom and Rome boulevards, near I-215 and Decatur Boulevard. Opportunity Village’s signature events will return too, with HallOVeen, Camelot, the 20th Annual Las Vegas Great Santa Run, and the Magical Forest, with additional events planned to enhance the 70th anniversary celebrations.

Opportunity Village was founded by six individuals or sets of parents, led by Dessie Bailey, whose daughter Claudia was born with Down syndrome. Bailey’s quest to find, then later create, a school for Claudia to attend led Bailey and the other parents to form an association to assist in the general welfare of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Their primary purpose was to establish a residential school. Estimates were that the school would serve 40-50 children, and the group needed to raise $5,000. That first meeting of the association took place in March 1954, which also happens to be Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.

In July 1954, the new association was formally chartered by the state of Nevada, and in 1972 the group was renamed Opportunity Village. In its 70th year, Opportunity Village won gold in the Best Nonprofit and Best Special Needs Program categories in the 2023 Best of Las Vegas contest, and won silver for Best Workforce Development. The Magical Forest and Dessie’s Table Cookies won bronze for best holiday experience and best cookies, respectively.

For more information about Opportunity Village or any of the planned projects to celebrate the 70th anniversary, visit or follow along via the nonprofit’s social channels @OppVillageLV on Instagram, TikTok, X, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

About Opportunity Village

Since 1954, Opportunity Village has been dedicated to helping people with disabilities find the very best version of themselves. Through workforce development, community employment, day services, inclusive housing, arts and social recreation, they are able to find new friends, realize future career paths, seek independence and community integration, and unleash creative passions. Opportunity Village thrives with the funding from our social enterprises, signature events and the generous philanthropy of our donors and community partners. Together, we are successfully empowering, employing, and serving people with disabilities – positively impacting lives. For more information on Opportunity Village, visit


Laura Foster, Opportunity Village

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