The Great Pit Ball, a star studded charity event to raise money for Villa Lobos Rescue Center, was a resounding success on March 14, 2009 in Las Vegas, NV. With over 1,000 attendees flying in from all over the globe, the guest list included celebrities like Michael Berryman (The Devil’s Rejects, The Hills Have Eyes, Weird Science, One flew over the Cuckoo's Nest), Pixie Acia (LA Ink, Miami Ink and Fear Factor game show winner) Tera Patrick, the number one porn star in the world who won the coveted “Best New Starlet” award and has been in over 100 adult films; Evan Seinfeld, the well known lead vocalist of the multi-platinum album selling Biohazard , an adult film actor, director, photographer, writer, entrepreneur, and starred in the HBO series “Oz”, James Madio (Hook, Basketball Diaries, Lost Boys, Band of Brothers), UFC fighter Alex Karalexis from the UFC reality series and 3-time UFC veteran, “Razor” Rob McCullough the 5 time world Muay Thai champion and former World Extreme Cage Fighting Weight Champion; Mario Barth, world renowned and celebrity tattoo artist, owner and chief tattoo artist at Starlight Tattoo; John Huntington, formally from the show "INKED Hart & Huntington" which is now Huntington Ink at the Palms Casino, also known as the country’s premiere nightclub promoter; and Boo-yaa Tribe, a hip-hop group from California, Ice-T, rapper and actor, and many more. Thousands of pictures are being uploaded directly to: http://allornothingtattoo.com/
Villa Lobos Rescue Center, www.VRCPITBULL.com is the largest pit bull rescue in the world. Animal Planet is filming a new show about the facility for the upcoming summer series expected to air in June of 2009. After 17 years in existence, Villa Lobos was facing bankruptcy, and was effectively saved by this charity gala. The Great Pit Ball was filmed in its entirety for the upcoming season and will no doubt be a highlight of the new show.
The event took place at the Palms Casino and the concert and after party was at The House of Blues at Mandalay Bay. World renowned tattoo artist Brandon Bond, CEO of All or Nothing Inc. and Stranglehold Publications, www.AllOrNothingTattoo.com and www.StrangleholdMerch.com, located in Atlanta, Georgia, and two time winner of the "International Tattoo Artist of the Year" award, spent months putting the whole event together. Bond is also the director of the independent documentary "Vicktory to the Underdog: Hell and Back" which also premiered at the Palms that evening, in the opulent Brenden Theaters. The premiere was incredibly well received as the enthusiastic, standing room only crowd cheered and gave multiple standing ovations. A red carpet led everyone into the theater and overflowed with press and exploding flash bulbs. A limited edition widescreen DVD of the film, along with a two disc companion DVD set, and the official motion picture soundtrack can be purchased here: http://strangleholdmerch.com/
Bond fostered three of the infamous Michael Vick dogs and has been involved in working with abused fighting dogs for over 13 years. He is also the owner of www.AtlantaPitBullRescue.com.
This 100% independent film features celebrities including Danny Trejo (Con Air, Dusk Till Dawn, Once Upon a Time In Mexico, Heat), Michael Berryman (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The Devils Rejects, The Hills Have Eyes), Pixie Acia (Miami Ink and La Ink), Donal Logue (Blade, Grounded for Life), Senator Chip Rogers (who just passed a law making it illegal to attend dogfights in GA), Bob Barker (The Price is Right, Happy Gilmore) and Senator Robert Byrd, among many others.
The "Pit Ball" event line-up began with an art show featuring artists from all over the world. Tables and easels were set up with all the art so that attendees could walk around and check out the art that was going to be auctioned off during the dinner portion. Various celebrities showed their support by signing autographs and posing for pictures. Submitting artists included Cam De Leon (famous for creating artwork for the band Tool), H.R. Giger, Brandon Bond, Damon Conklin, Durb Morrison, Dave Tedder, John Lloyd, Jace Masula, Short Parker, Ryan Downie, Robert Pho, and many more. The art show was an incredible and eclectic collection of paintings, photographs, sculpture, mixed media, and collage. The art was auctioned off by "Heckles and Twitch", www.hecklesandtwitch.com. All proceeds from the art auction were also donated to Villa Lobos.
Immediately following was an amazing 5 star dinner spearheaded by award winning New York chef Chef Ralph Perazzo. Other award winning chefs included Chef Geno Bernardo of Nove Palms Casino; Chef Barry Dakake of N9ne Steak House at the Palms Casino; Chef Rick Moonen of RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay casino; Chef Joe Elevado of Social House at Treasure Island Casino and Chef Kerry Simon of Simon Restaurant and Lounge at the Palms Casino. The mood was festive, and the signature dishes were amazing. It was like dining at every single 5 star restaurant in Las Vegas at one time. Animal Planet was there to film all the excitement. The musical talents of Kimber Cleveland were enjoyed by all throughout the dinner. Kimber is a musician and singer from Nashville who has also been active in pit bull rescue for over 10 years. She has been using her music to get the message out about the beloved breed.
During dinner, Tia Torres, owner of Villalobos Rescue, was presented with a $25,000.00 check from Brandon Bond. The actual amount raised for Villa Lobos at the Pit Ball actually far exceeded this amount and continues to as more donations roll in. Donations can be made at www.VRCPITBULL.com. “Of course, more money is always appreciated, and MUCH needed”, says Brandon Bond. Upon receiving the check, Tia became overwhelmed with emotion and teared up a little, melting through her "hard" exterior. Villa Lobos Rescue Center houses 200 pit bulls waiting to be adopted. The rescue has been up and running for 17 years but with the dire economic times in America, donations have dried up, and Tia was facing bankruptcy her. Famed clowns “Heckles and Twitch”, the multi award winning performers popular within horror and Halloween circles, auctioned off the artwork.
Following dinner, attendees walked through the Palms casino to Brendan Theaters to watch the cast and crew of the documentary walk the red carpet along with many of the celebrity attendees. Once everyone filed into the theater, and the seats filled up, it became standing room only. Brandon Bond got up and introduced the film, and dedicated the premiere to his wife, Ashley Bond, who is also starring in the film, and his loyal assistant Nicole Webster, who was instrumental in every aspect of the Pit Ball. It was an extremely emotional premiere for all who attended. "The response of the crowd was overwhelming. There was cheering, yelling, booing (when Michael Vick first appeared on screen), standing ovations, laughter, and the soft whimper of emotional release could be heard nonstop throughout the premiere, there was not a dry eye in the theater" says Bond.
Once the movie was over, attendees traveled to The House of Blues at Mandalay Bay Casino for the final event of the evening. The lineup of bands was amazing. The House of Blues was packed with concert goers, celebrities, and pit bull supporters. ToeTag , which includes members of the band Until the End, and is featured on the “Vicktory to the Underdog” official motion picture soundtrack, started off the show, and tore up the stage. The Spyderz, were introduced next by the lovely Tera Patrick (adult film star and wife of lead vocalist Evan Seinfeld, who is also the founder of the platinum band, Biohazard and played an amazing set including brand new songs. The crowd continued to grow as Madball took the stage and played a roaring set. Madball are icons in the underground and responsible for some of the most important releases in the "hardcore" genre. The finale was put on by the 20 year veterans, and Brandon Bond's personal favorite band, Sick of it All, the longest standing New York hardcore band active today. They played their hearts out and even dedicated their performance to the film "Vicktory to the Underdog". The last band took the show to an entirely different level and played one of the best shows in their illustrious history. 100% of all ticket sales also went to Villa Lobos, the bands donated their time without hesitation when Bond requested. It was the perfect end to a perfect night.
Brandon Bond’s work has changed the lives of not just the dogs, but the people involved as well. Villa Lobos has been struggling to keep their doors open for some time, and this event combined with the profits from the film will keep this large facility in operation until the money from the Animal Planet show arrives. The Great Pit Ball effectively saved the largest pit bull rescue in the country.