The Giving Pool

Las Vegas native Rachel Wenman makes waves in the charitable community with Cabanas for Cause

The Palms dove into philanthropic waters and launched its inaugural family-friendly pool party, Cabanas for a Cause, in May. Each Monday throughout the summer, cabanas were rented for only $100, all of which was donated directly to local nonprofits. Seventeen charities, from Noah’s Animal House to Street Teens to Links for Life, reaped the benefits as scores of generous sunbathers partied with purpose.

The Sept. 26 event, benefiting HELP of Southern Nevada, will conclude the season in which nearly $20,000 has been raised as of the penultimate event on Sept. 19. Vegas Seven spoke with N9NE Group marketing manager Rachel Wenman, who works alongside marketing coordinator Megan Gross to promote the charitable effort, and who is herself blazing a trail in the community.

Where did the idea for Cabanas for a Cause originate?

We’ve always been community-driven at N9NE Group. We were looking for creative ways to give back and at the same time let Vegas know that our pool is open during the week. We thought it would be a good way to do both things. We wanted to figure out a way to sell the cabanas for a little bit cheaper and donate whatever the cabana cost that day to that charity.

What were some of the most popular days?

Some of the larger charities that put in more effort had bigger turnouts. Special Olympics was one of our biggest ones. I think next year, once we’ve worked out our kinks, it will be even better. We already have a waiting list for next year. We’ve had a lot of charities contact us wanting to be involved.

How did you choose which charities with which to work?

We asked people throughout our company if they had any charities that they felt passionate about. One of the managers’ brothers was in the Special Olympics, so he chose that. Some of them I’ve worked with in the past. I personally have been really involved in the community, as far as philanthropy goes, so I had a bunch on my list. Then we had different charities reach out to us.

In addition to hosting some of the most popular parties in town, you’re also recognized in the community for all of your work with nonprofits.

I do a lot of work with Three Square. I have a nonprofit called Lunch Tray Art, and I give [local artists] lunch trays that they do really crazy paintings on. I auction them off [to combat] hunger. I work with community-based schools. We recently participated in an event where [Hard Rock Hotel marketing director and Cabanas for a Cause co-founder] Julie Cane and myself got all the nightclubs in town to donate school supplies. I think we raised more than $10,000 in school supplies, which is really neat.

What was the most memorable charitable event you’ve organized?

About two months ago I [threw] an art show with the owner of The Beat. We took all the artists from Opportunity Village and did an art show where they were the featured artists; that’s how they actually make their income. That was probably the most rewarding so far besides the Lunch Trays. The Lunch Trays are definitely my pride and joy.

A committed philanthropist who also works in nightlife is an exceptional find! Where did you get this passion and drive?

I think I was just kind of born with it. I’ve always wanted to make an impact on the world. So anytime I have free time I try to do what I can. I was born in Vegas, so I really like to try to help out our community. I’m always involved. Just trying to be a part of the impact here.