First responders and building communities in Las Vegas

Our story


The beginning

of something bigger

In 2018, in the wake of 1 October, The Gratitude Project hosted its Inaugural Hidden Heroes Black and White Gala at the then Mandarin Oriental Hotel. This was a leap of faith for our founder, who was unsure about the attendance and whether LVMPD and the LVMPD Foundation would embrace the initiative of honoring Hidden Heroes. Fortunately, not only did the LVMPD Foundation support the mission of gratitude, but we also had donors and supporters who made the gala possible. With 50 people attending, our first gala was a success, and we were able to honor many men and women of the LVMPD. From this first gala, the LVMPD Foundation asked to partner with The Gratitude Project to make it one of their annual events. This is how the Hidden Heroes Black and White Gala was born.

our 3rd event

Hidden heros Gala 2020

In 2020, we were fortunate enough to honor the Communications Bureau and the K9 Unit, right before Las Vegas went into a Covid lockdown. The Communications Bureau is what most civilians recognize as our dispatchers and our 911 responders. They respond to people who are probably experiencing the worst day of their lives, and often, they hear someone’s last words. They are also supporting and protecting our men and women on the front lines, giving them vital information so the officers can do their jobs. They are truly our hidden heroes. The K9 Unit may be on the front lines, but the significance of their role in de-escalation is often unrecognized. They risk their lives to preserve human lives. We were deeply moved by the stories of both the Communications Bureau and the K9 Unit that were shared that evening and were grateful we were able to meet so many of these heroes, including our four-legged ones.


A bigger future

At our Sixth Annual Hidden Heroes Black and White Gala, we honored the men and women of the LVMPD Events Planning Unit. Their role is critical in planning the security and safety for major events in southern Nevada, such as the VGK and Raiders games, music concerts and festivals, and the upcoming Formula 1 and Super Bowl. They sometimes plan over 200 major events in a week. Because of their commitment in keeping us safe, all we need to worry about is to have a good time. Not only are they keeping the people of Las Vegas safe, but they are also protecting the lives of people from around the world who come to our city to attend and enjoy these large events. We also awarded the Crystal Sanchez Award that evening, for representing outstanding bravery and compassion by a female officer.


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Nami Oneda


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