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Confessions of a Sin City Fundraiser
How a former showgirl found her passion and raised half a billion dollars for Las Vegas
A sequel to “Unwanted,” Linda Smith’s new book, “Confessions of a Sin City Fundraiser,” is a no holds barred, eye-popping account of her unconventional style of raising money for charities in Las Vegas, a city that has always bucked convention. Through a collection of stories, Smith provides insight on her unorthodox approach to fundraising and how she raised half a billion dollars for Las Vegas charities. Her disarming charms, Pollyanna approach, and belief that “no is not an option brought a legion of believers to her cause over the years, which in turn helped her to carve out a brighter future for the misunderstood, neglected and
underserved of Nevada.
Linda is a persistent fundraiser and disability activist, a survivor who faced and overcame many challenges in her life. After her beloved son, Christopher, was born with Down syndrome, she set about changing the way Las Vegas approached philanthropy in the early 70s and 80s. These were historic days in a city not known at the time for its’ generosity. Along the way, Linda raised half a billion dollars for one local charity and another half a billion for far-flung causes. This book chronicles her journey.
(Available Kindle or Paperback)
Also available on Apple eBooks.
How a mother learned to turn shame, grief, and fear into purpose, passion, and empowerment.
Linda Smith grew up impoverished, neglected and abused, but knew a great destiny awaited. She had no idea her life would take the turns it would, or deliver her from fear and guilt to triumph and unconditional love. A high school dropout turned model actress, Smith married a popular Canadian entertainer and built a life together traveling across two countries while becoming entrenched in the Las Vegas celebrity community. Linda had achieved a pinnacle she never thought possible—and then it all came crashing down. When Linda gave birth to a Down syndrome baby, she was certain life as they knew it was over, but instead, their son Christopher became a catalyst that catapulted Linda onto even bigger stages. Behind the glitz and glamour of the Strip, she produced charity events and concerts for a cherished disability organization, learning the job of fundraiser among millionaires, mobsters, and city movers-and-shakers. She became one of the nation’s most successful fundraisers, raising over half a billion dollars for disability causes, but her most cherished role was as a mother, seeing Chris exceed all expectations and become a force that changed not just her life, but their entire world.
(Available Kindle, Audiobook, or Paperback)
Also available on Apple eBooks, Apple Audiobooks, and in paperback on Barnes & Noble.
“Confessions”: Linda Smith has been described in life as indefatigable, tenacious, relentless, fearless, stubborn, determined, passionate, frustrating, and Las Vegas’ very own Mother Teresa. She is a
visionary, an icon, and a friend who carved a path to success for herself and in doing so changed the world for millions of marginalized people. Linda is a persistent fundraiser and disability activist, a survivor who faced and overcame many challenges in her life.
After her beloved son, Christopher was born with Down syndrome, she set about changing the way Las Vegas approached philanthropy in the early 70’s and 80’s and continues to pave the way through innovative out of the box approaches. These were historic days in a city not known at the time for its generosity. Along the way, Linda raised half a billion dollars for one local charity and another half a billion for far-flung causes. There is no one in the world like Linda Smith.
Check Out “Confessions” at Your Local Library
“Smith’s well-written, moving, and energetic description of the social injustices, lack of understanding, and physical and emotional demands of raising Christopher are eye-opening, offering a realistic portrait of the world of the disabled in the ‘70s and beyond. Her tenacity is infectious. People seeking to learn more about self-advocacy, nonprofits, and fundraising—or simply share in Christopher’s stirring story— will find inspiration in this powerful book.” Read the full review here.
“Unwanted”: How a Mother Learned to Turn Shame, Grief and Fear into Purpose, Passion and Empowerment, chronicles my life as the survivor of childhood abuse and mother of a disabled child who became a fundraising icon and relentless advocate for people with disabilities. All proceeds from this book will benefit The Christopher Smith Foundation, an organization my family and I founded to support family members of children with disabilities and those within the professional caregiving field who care for vulnerable citizens.
“Unwanted, is a heart-rending story of a woman’s pursuit of acceptance for her disabled son. Linda Smith has a rare blend of talents, all on display in this must-read book of innocence lost, then reclaimed, and soon after pounded into submission.” —Wayne Newton, Entertainer, Mr. Las Vegas
“Linda Smith, the angel of Opportunity Village, has written a remarkable life story filled with triumph and heartache. But at its essence, this is a story of a mother’s love for a son named Christopher born with Down syndrome at a time of great misunderstanding and misinformation. Their relationship is a reminder that love does indeed conquer all.” —John L Smith, Author, winner of the Silver Pen Award.