Planning for Tomorrow

Lifelong arts lover supports The Smith Center's future with planned giving

Allison BonannoAllison Bonanno might be one of the most passionate members of The Encore Society at The Smith Center, an exclusive group of donors who contribute with planned gifts.

This makes sense for the lifelong arts lover, who has provided styling services for performers like Sting and cast members of hit musicals like "Phantom – The Las Vegas Spectacular."

While preparing her general estate plans, Bonanno realized she wanted to help ensure The Smith Center continues to provide arts and culture for Southern Nevada far into the future.

She also realized that planned giving could guarantee that.

"I give to The Smith Center every year, and I wanted to keep on giving after I was gone," Bonanno says. "Plans for tomorrow can't happen without thoughts and actions of today. That's my whole take on giving."

Joining The Encore Society

A resident of Las Vegas for more than 20 years, Bonanno is among a growing number of Smith Center supporters who contribute with planned gifts, such as leaving donations in a will, life insurance policy or trust.

She has discovered many benefits to this approach, including peace of mind.

"The best part is once it's done, you don't have to worry about it," she says. "You don't have to do anything else."

A Life in the Arts

Giving to The Smith Center has always remained important to Bonanno.

She purchases two subscriptions to The Smith Center's Broadway season each year, and frequents a wide variety of additional music and dance shows, including performances at Myron's Cabaret Jazz.

"The Smith Center brings culture and awareness to Southern Nevada," Bonanno says. "I want future generations to experience it. I don't want it to disappear."

It's no wonder that she feels such a close tie to the arts. Bonanno was raised in a family of arts supporters, and her stylist career has led to numerous opportunities in the performing arts.

These include prepping wigs and hair for productions and musicals at Las Vegas casinos like "EFX," "Mamma Mia," "Phantom" and "Hairspray," as well as Cirque du Soleil shows. She has even provided hairdressing services for music video shoots, including Sting's "Desert Rose."

"I used to like that song, until I had to listen to it for 36 hours nonstop during the shoot," she says with a laugh.

No Pains with Planned Giving

To make her longtime commitment a reality, Bonanno created a trust that will donate part of her estate to The Smith Center after she is gone.

"It's actually quite easy," she says. "You can set up a trust and then still fine-tune it afterward."

Bonanno also embraces how this will allow her to live on through the students and guests who visit The Smith Center for many years to come, she adds.

"The Smith Center gives happiness to other people, and I think that's a wonderful thing," she says. "I know that my plans will carry on with my last gift for The Smith Center, and I am honored to contribute so others can enjoy it."

Learn More

To join Allison in The Encore Society or to learn about supporting The Smith Center with planned giving, contact The Encore Society at 702-749-2354 or


A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to The Smith Center a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to The Smith Center, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 361 Symphony Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89106, or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to The Smith Center or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to The Smith Center as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to The Smith Center as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and The Smith Center where you agree to make a gift to The Smith Center and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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