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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 31Jan01

By Kent Larsen

Las Vegas LDS Opera Patron, Tove Allen, Succumbs to Cancer

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- A prominent patron of opera and the arts in Las Vegas, Tove Allen, died Sunday after a two-year battle with ovarian cancer. Allen was remembered in both major Las Vegas newspapers as an important and influential supporter of both the Nevada Opera Theatre and the arts in general. She was 67.

Allen was a native of Denmark, living there through World War II and emigrating to the US at the age of 18, in 1951. She was particularly proud of her Danish heritage, says her daughter, Cathy Allen, "She was very proud that during World War II the Danish king wouldn't hand over the Jews to the invading Germans."

After marrying John M. Allen in 1955 in Wyoming, Allen moved with her family to Las Vegas in 1969. She worked as an executive for large retailers in Las Vegas, including Bullock's, Saks Fifth Avenue and Diane Freis. But it was in the arts that her efforts shone. When her friend, Eileen Hayes, founded the Nevada Opera Theatre in 1985, Allen joined the company's board and soon founded the Nevada Opera Theatre Guild.

The Guild ran fund-raisers and helped develop outreach programs to educate the community about the importance of the arts. Under Allen's guidance, the guild developed programs that sent Operat Theatre performers to elementary schools in the county each spring, to perform the operas "Hansel and Gretel" and "Little Red Riding Hood."

While helping with the Guild, Allen gained a reputation as a persistent fundraiser who simply wouldn't take no for an answer. "Tove was a tremendous asset ... just a tireless worker," says Hayes. In addition to the Guild, Allen was also involved in several other organizations, such as the Friends of Charleston Heights Arts Center, Young Audiences, and the Danish organization Rebuild Park Society.

The Guild honored Allen in 1996, establishing the Tove Allen Sholarship Fund, which awards scholarships to high school seniors who place in the top three in an annual competition. The first scholarships were awarded in 1998, just months after Allen learned that she had cancer. But in spite of the cancer, she remained involved in the arts to the end. "She couldn't sing worth a lick but she certainly had an appreciation for the talent of others," said her son, John Allen. "She devoted her heart and soul to the arts. She certainly had a dramatic impact on the visibility of opera in Las Vegas."


Tove Allen, founder of Opera Guild, dies
Las Vegas NV Review-Journal 30Jan01 P2
By Sonya Padgett: Review-Journal

Prominent patron of the arts in LV, Allen dies at 67
Las Vegas NV Sun 30Jan01 P2
By Kris Hill: Las Vegas Sun


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