by Virginia Coons
As all Elvis fans know, our Elvis was the first entertainer to beam a T. V. show around the world via satellite. If this wasn't enough of a feat, he did it for charity--as all proceeds on the show went to the Kui Lee Cancer Fund in Hawaii. This is part of the American Cancer Society. We were all very proud of him. Shortly after the show, some of us came up with the idea of honoring Elvis with a trophy plus furthering the cause for the Kui Lee Cancer Fund.
Virginia Coons © Virginia
Coons, Elvis and Tom Diskin. Feb. 17th, 1973
The idea was to present
the trophy to him while he was in his 8th engagement at the Hilton Hotel in Las
Vegas. Since my reservations were for the 17th of February, we made that our
deadline. Of course, at that time, I had no idea that I would be the one to
present Elvis with the trophy, which was probably a good idea since I probably
would have had a nervous breakdown long before the l7th.
I wish there had been
time to contact more fans, but we did well for the time we did have.
The actual presentation
was just before the dinner show on Saturday evening, about 8:30 p.m. It was just
a short time before when I discovered that I would be allowed to present the
trophy to Elvis myself. Close to collaspe over this delightful development, I
soon found myself waiting in the hallway of a large dressing room area,
backstage, just across from the elevator that would wisk Elvis to the stage.
Armed guards admired the trophy, saying it was prettier than an Oscar. But I
wasn't listening to them very attentively for I could hear Elvis laughing and I
knew he was in his dressing room,. down a short hallway and around a corner.
A door opened--there were quick booted steps, and Elvis was walking towards me. Needless to say, he looked his usual, handsome self even though he was sufferizig from a severe touch of the flu. As you can see by the photo, he was already dressed for the stage. Mr. Diskin made the introductions and told Elvis of our $200.00 donation to the Kui Lee Cancer Fund, showing him the check and telling him we were donating it in his honor. ( You can see the check in Mr. Diskin's hand as he handed Elvis the trophy ). That's the plaque, with the list of contributors, that I am holding.
Virginia Coons © Virginia
Coons and Elvis on Feb. 17th, 1973 before his dinner show
Elvis accepted the
trophy, very pleased, and held it up high. He turned it around and around for
inspection as he said, over and over, " It's beautiful, just beautiful.
" 1 called his attention to the plaque and he studied it for awhile too as
he said, " Nice-very nice. "
All too soon, he was
given the word that he was due on stage. As he turned to enter the elevator, he
smiled that precious crooked little grin and said, " It was a beautiful
thing to do. Tell everyone ' thank you ' for me. " Then he was gone and a
magic something in the air went with him--to the stage of the largest showroom
in Las Vegas.
He did a fantastic show
that night. As I watched him perform, I kept going over and over the
presentation of a short time earlier. 'There had been a lot of work involved.
Getting it all together had been worth every minute, and more. Elvis seemed even
more pleased over our collection for the Cancer Fund than the trophy for himself.
He's a warm, giving human-being. God bless him.