LONDON BUILDS BRIDGES: Comedy-magician Adam London spreads charity all year
Just like that —POOF! — the magician makes a commitment to philanthropy suddenly appear. And never makes it disappear. Not for an entire year.
“We wanted to do something that’s philanthropic, that raised funds for kids, so we thought, let’s just do a yearlong charity of giving,” says Adam London, the impish prestidigitator who conjures afternoons of mirthful magic at The D Las Vegas.
Flashing back to the beginning of 2018, London celebrated the five-year anniversary of his “Laughternoon” production by launching his “I Give A Duck” initiative (chalk up the name to his amusingly odd preoccupation with rubber ducks). On the second Saturday of each month, the merry magician donates the proceeds from both ticket sales and merchandising to a different charity, so far netting close to $1,000 every time.
“I only wanted to reach out to charities that had something to do with children, whether it was reading or learning or kids and families who are homeless,” says London, who had previously raised funds for Eileen Brookman Elementary School in Las Vegas, where his wife is a fourth-grade teacher and his son is a student.
Charities that have benefitted so far from London’s largess include the Nevada Blind Children’s Foundation, the Children’s Heart Foundation, the Olive Crest agency, Ronald McDonald House Charities, the Somerset Academy Foundation of Las Vegas and Goodwill of Southern Nevada, as well as the Brookman school.
“The Nevada Blind Children’s Foundation is the first one we did in January, and they invited me to come to their center,” London says. “I was supposed to just present a check and take off, but I had so much fun with those kids. We stayed for two hours just hanging out. Kids were leaving and we were still there. Those kids were so sweet and anxious to learn some magic tricks.”
And a personal connection binds him to another recipient, the Ronald McDonald House. “I had a cousin growing up who has COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and her family had to go to Arizona to get treatment for her when she was a baby and they had no money,” he recalls. “It was the Ronald McDonald House charity that took her in while they were getting treatment.”
Wrapping up the year’s recipients will be Chefs for Kids (Aug. 11), Three Square (Sept. 8), Shade Tree / Noah’s Animal House (Oct. 13), Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth (Nov. 10) and Speedway Children’s Charities (Dec. 8).
Oh, and about that ducky obsession that lends this effort its title? Credit (or blame) goes to London’s dentist, of all people. On his 24th birthday, London had to suffer through a root canal (happy birthday indeed!), so the good doc promised him a birthday gift — a rubber duck tie. To this day, London wears it onstage.
Forever faithful to that theme, the “I Give a Duck” program kicked off on Jan. 13 – National Rubber Ducky Day (’natch). Whatever his predilection for waterfowl-style bathtub toys, the man’s charitable heart is in the right place. And that’s a fact – or a quack – Jack.