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John Ascuaga honored for philanthropy
by Tribune Staff
Apr 29, 2012 | 1571 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Courtesy Photo - John Ascuaga
Courtesy Photo - John Ascuaga
SPARKS — John Ascuaga, founder and proprietor of John Ascuaga’s Nugget hotel-casino, received the Michael Dermody Philanthropic Award at the Seventh Annual Summit Awards on Saturday.

The awards ceremony honors achievements in commercial real estate and development, as well as salutes the individual accomplishments of property managers, philanthropic contributors and those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty for the region.

Founded and sponsored by Dermody Properties, the Michael Dermody Philanthropic Award recognizes an individual or company that has made financial and/or time contributions towards the betterment of northern Nevada communities.

Under Ascuaga’s guidance, the Nugget has grown from a small 60-seat coffee shop with a handful of slot machines to one of Nevada’s largest hotel-casinos. Today, John Ascuaga’s Nugget is the largest employer in Sparks and includes 1,500 hotel rooms, casino areas, convention facilities, eight restaurants, five live entertainment venues, the Celebrity Showroom and an indoor swimming pool.

Ascuaga is most proud of the contributions he and his family have made to the community and especially of the Nugget Scholarship Program. A fervent believer in higher education, he has given $625,000 in scholarships, including the 25 college scholarships he is awarding this week.

Ascuaga and the Nugget also contribute and help raise money for a number of other community organizations, including the Washoe Country School District, St. Vincent’s Dining Room, United Way, Sierra Arts Foundation, University of Nevada Foundation and Wolf Pack Athletics.

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