OSCAR NIGHT AMERICA
A BENEFIT FOR THE ARTHRITIS FOUNDATION
ARIZONA BILTMORE RESORTS & SPA
FEBRUARY 24TH, 2008
The year 2008 marks the 80th Annual Oscar Awards and the 15th year for Oscar Night® America (ONA). ONA is the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' grassroots program that enables charities to host glamorous fund-raising parties in cities all across the country. Most parties are black-tie affairs, though some are less formal. Here in Phoneix, event organizers feature limousine arrivals, red carpets, local celebrities, photographers (or paparazzi) and press interviews with arriving guests. The theme of the night was "Old Hollywood".
Accordning to the Oscar Night America website, each ONA party receives from the Academy copies of the official commemorative poster and the official Oscar show program among other items, but only one charity party in a given market may participate in ONA. Events are entirely produced by local nonprofit organizations, with the active participation of the local ABC-TV affiliate station. This year's host for the Phoenix event was The Artheritis Foundation.
In 2007, 47 charities hosted viewing parties for the 79th Academy Awards, raising nearly $3 million, all of it remaining in local communities. With more than 16,300 guests attending nationwide ONA 2007 benefited such charities as the American Diabetes Association, the American Red Cross, the Miami Beach Film Society, the Ronald McDonald House, Special Olympics Texas, and the Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation. Since its inception in 1994, the program has generated over $20.4 million in funding for a wide spectrum of charitable organizations - every cent staying within the community where it was raised, none going to the Academy.
My part in this event was to paint four male models with gold bodypaint to stand at the red carpet entrance replicating the Oscar statue. Models were provided by S.I.M. Agency, a full service fashion/film agency located in Metro Phoenix that represents models and actors for fashion, print, catalog, runway, TV, voiceover and film projects. My two faithful assistants, Courtney Black and Donna Wilson, were on-hand to help complete the task of covering the models with the gold paint from head to toe.
The major sponsors for this event were Health Net of Arizona, Pakis Family Foundation, Saks Fifth Avenue, National Bank of Arizona, First National Bank of Arizona, Greenberg Traurig, and Wells Fargo.
The party at the Biltmore included a Saks Fifth Avenue/Giorgio Armani Green Room for make-up touch-ups, hand-rolled cigars from Churchill's Fine Cigars on the outdoor patio, black jack and roulette tables in the lobby adjacent to the chocolate fountains. Of course there were also drawings and a silent auction of many Hollywood related keepsakes.