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Las Vegas, NV (WSFA) -
Thousands from across the country are in Las Vegas to witness the final comedic performance and last laughs from Steve Harvey—the comedian, best-selling author of "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man," radio host and host of "Family Feud" and new daytime show "Steve Harvey."
Among the thousands are fans from across Central Alabama, including River Region entrepreneur and Calhoun Enterprises and Foods Chief Operating Officer Greg Calhoun and his wife Verlyn. Calhoun says he had to see Harvey's sold-out grand stand-up finale comedy show at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino Garden Arena, which has a maximum capacity of nearly 17,000. The performance aired lived on Pay-Per-View.
"Steve Harvey is my partner. We worked together. He's one of the best entertainers in the world," Calhoun said.
"It's a big weekend for me. Thursday was my last concert day. My friend Greg came in with his wife to be a part of the celebration. It's an exciting time. I'm still soaking it all in. It's a blessing all in all," Harvey said.
Calhoun owns a chain of supermarkets in central Alabama. He conducted a drawing for an all-expense paid trip for one family to attend the 2012 Ford Hoodie Awards Show and festivities.
"I thought it would be good for my customers to be able to witness the greatest comedian and the impact he has with highlighting the accomplishments of community leaders. What we've been witnessing so far has been a great send-off," Calhoun said.
Harvey's last show lasted and hour and half. At the end, his emotions overwhelmed him as he burst out in tears while expressing his gratitude to his fans.
"I couldn't do it without you. My dream wouldn't have come true without my fans. Thank you for supporting me for 27 years." Harvey said.
Award show nominees and participants are enjoying a host of impactful festivities and entertainment leading up to the show and following the program which is Saturday evening at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino Garden Arena. It was a packed house at the State Farm All White Freedom Friday Party with entertainers Charlie Wilson and Anthony Hamilton at Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino Convention Center, the Hoodie Awards Interactive Expo and the Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation Charity Golf Tournament.
"It's the everyday people that make it all happen for us, like Greg Calhoun. The people that go to his grocery stores, they are regular people. And you have to take care of the regular people and that's why I always cater to them. My fan base is regular people," Harvey said.
And it's that focus on regular people that has led to this year's Ford Hoodie Awards, honoring the nation's best neighborhood leaders, educators, churches and local businesses for their service from coast-to-coast; from California to Washington, DC and even Alabama.
"The Hoodie Awards is an awards show for everyday men and women, honoring them as the real stars of their neighborhoods for their beliefs, courage and commitment pursing their dream and serving their fellow neighbors and youth," Harvey said.
Nearly 30 celebrity presenters will hand out Hoodie Awards, including actor Morris Chestnut, singer Anthony Hamilton, TV judge Greg Mathis, and BET host Ed Gordon of Weekly with Ed Gordon.
Awards will be given out to the winning men and women in 12 categories: Best Community Leader, Best High School, Best School Teacher, Best High School Coach, Best Church, Best Church Choir, Best Soul Food Place, Best BBQ Restaurant, Best Barbershop, Best Beauty Salon, Best Nail Shop and Best Car Wash/Detail Shop. Greg Calhoun was not nominated for an award, however; there are two nominees from Alabama.
"I look forward to hosting an unforgettable program and seeing who will take home the Hoodie Awards this year," Harvey said.
Continue to check our website for coverage of the 2012 Ford Hoodie Awards. Pictures and video will be added to this web story later.