US trade show MAGIC International (magiconline.com) announced this week that its Mardi Gras-themed Opening Night party co-sponsored by Joseph Abboud (pictured), which was held at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas on February 13, raised $150,000 for the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity (NOAHH).

The amount raised was double the initial goal and will allow for the construction of two homes for families in New Orleans displaced by Hurricane Katrina. “MAGIC’s initial goal was to raise enough money to build one house in New Orleans, but thanks to all our loyal exhibitors and retailers, we have exceeded expectations, helping two families,” said Chris McCabe, MAGIC International’s vice president and general manager. “It’s hard to believe that Hurricane Katrina occurred almost two years ago and it’s disheartening that there are still so many without adequate shelter. Considering that many of MAGIC’s partners and attendees were affected by the hurricane, our partnership with NOAHH was a perfect fit for our traditional Opening Night Party fundraising.”

The event raised money from ticket sales and a silent auction held during the party. Additional money was collected at donation booths on the exhibition floor of the MAGIC show.

New Orleans natives the Neville Brothers performed at the event and also made a personal contribution of $25,000 to the cause.

Construction on the homes is expected to begin in six months. Once completed, the houses will be sold to Habitat partner families at cost, through a zero-interest, no down payment mortgage.