411 Locals, an internet advertising agency, headed an initiative to help locals deal with the trauma of the October 1 event and in the process donated $5,260 to the Las Vegas Victims’ Fund after its“#VegasStrong Chalk Art Contest” held on Saturday.

411 Locals donated $5,000 under the names of the four chalk art contest winners ($1,000 each) as well as the event DJ (DJ Scoobie, $1,000) in addition to the other $260 in donations it collected during the event for voting ($1 per vote; 1 vote per person), for a grand total of $5,260. The contest was held on a vacant Las Vegas Strip parking lot property donated by the development company for Boca Park, a shopping center.

“I thought the chalk art contest would be a great way to help people heal after the terrible and needless tragedy that happened here in Las Vegas,” said Roumen Todorov, 411 Locals’ co-founder and GM. “I remember how much drawing helped my daughter overcome a terrifying incident she witnessed when she was just four-years-old.”

School-age kids and adult artists discharged their feelings and emotions about the mass shooting as they transformed the parking lot into a collection of expressive chalk renderings. The objective was to help raise funds to provide relief and financial support to the victims and families of the horrific Las Vegas mass shooting​. In the process, artistic expression was how the artists and the spectators attempted to make sense of the horrible event.

Contest winners included Grade-Schooler Benjamin Salinas (age 6), High-Schooler Keuluni Espinda (age 17) and Adult Artists Melanie VanLatum (1st place) and Jamie Vincek (runner-up).

In addition to having $1,000 each donated to the Las Vegas Victims’ Fund under their names, all winners received trophies courtesy of Boulevard Trophy.

Todorov said, “Back in 2003, my wife and daughter were in our car coming back from a visit to the hospital driving along the main boulevard in Sofia, Bulgaria. They were travelling behind a Mercedes which exploded into pieces from a powerful blast from a bomb. There was a thousand feet trail of debris on the boulevard.The windshield of my wife’s car had pieces of body parts and burnt plastic stuck to it. A psychologist had my daughter draw the images she witnessed to help her overcome the trauma. It really helped her a lot!”

According to Todorov, the car that exploded belonged to a notorious Bulgarian mobster and drug smuggler known as “The Doctor,” who was transporting a bomb allegedly with sinister intentions. The day of the explosion was when Todorov decided he was going to move his family out of Bulgaria and to the United States, so “they could be much safer.”

411 Locals would like to thank all of the event sponsors that made this event successful: Boca Park’s development company for donating the land, DJ Scoobie for donating his talent and performing, Boulevard Trophy for donating the trophies, A Company for donating portable restrooms, and Hank's DJ Audio for donating a generator to give power to the event.

There was no artist entry fee, and the contest was open to all school age kids (5-18) and adult artists 18 and up. Voting was casted by 411 Locals’ team members (50%) and artists/spectators’ votes (50%) with entries judged based on first impression, most influential for #VegasStrong cause, creativity, originality, skill and use of color. All participants received a bucket of sidewalk chalk donated by 411 Locals and had to create their artwork freehand.

About 411 Locals:
Established in 2007, 411 Locals is an Internet Advertising Agency specializing in local search engine optimization (SEO), web design and online marketing solutions for small and medium-sized businesses throughout the United States. With its corporate headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada and more than 50,000 client businesses in a variety of industries, 411 Locals is one of the fastest-growing, most successful online marketing companies in the world. 411 Locals is a Google All-Star Partner, an elite group of top-performing Partners, and employees hold 69 individual Google certifications. The company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. For further information, visit 411locals.com.

Author's Bio: 

Nikolay Peshev is a Ph.D. Student, working for 411 Locals -
an Internet Advertising Agency specializing in local search engine optimization (SEO), web design and online marketing solutions for small and medium-sized businesses throughout the United States.