“Cirque du CARE” was the theme for the 2008 CARE Awards, highlighting what a crazy, funny, unpredictable and amazing business Hollywood is. April 13th was a hot California day and excitement was in the air as awardees and their families entered the private gate into Universal Studios Hollywood. The red carpet was filled with anticipation as each awardee had their time with an array of media outlets. Acrobats and stilt walkers appeared on the carpet to give the guests an entertaining mini-show, a precursor to the events entertainment. Inside the Globe Theatre, awardees were presented with a gift bag with goodies from our sponsors worth hundreds of dollars.
Then guests were ushered into the event, where they were awed by the surreal decorations. Nine foot inflatable hydras and stars designed by AirDD floated in the air, against a backdrop of a thousand stars. Two giant screens showed a video of the awardees headshots and sponsor logos. Purple silk tablecloths with illuminated blown glass centerpieces were on every table. Gifts of collectible programs, silver star photo holders, art postcards, and treats of custom of Hershey’s Kisses were left for each guest.
Lunch was served buffet style, and included kid-friendly food such as burgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken, fresh fruit and hundreds of cookies! The event itself was kicked off with a welcome by hosts Anne Henry and Paula Dorn, while Justin Shenkarow, Chairperson of the Screen Actors Guild Young Performers Committee played emcee for the ceremony. Special recognition was given to 17 child actors who had qualified and attended all 4 CARE Awards.
Groups of awardees were called up to receive their trophy from Chris Grahber, a Cirque actor/clown who kept the crowd giggling throughout the event. As part of their CARE application, kids wrote essays entitled “Make Us Laugh” and many chose to participate in a project with a challenge--they had to incorporate a unique smiley face into artwork . Between groups of awardees, special awards were given and winners received gifts from Holdon Log, Breakdown Services, Laurel Springs School. The audience was treated to a video montage of the art projects, and were encouraged to participate in “Anne and Paula’s Little Give” by passing on a postcard of the winning smiley face art to others in their life. A highlight of the event for everyone was the inspirational messages shared by the 2008 Special CARE Awardees, Joanne and Fred Savage. For the first time, BizParentz Foundation decided to honor both a former child actor and his mother for their unique contributions to the industry.
Specials thanks and mention was given to the many parent volunteers who spent a very warm Saturday helping assemble the gift bags, and to those who altered their CARE experience by arriving early to help set up, or staying late to help clean up. Every volunteer effort is critical to the success of the event and greatly appreciated!
Entertainment for the event was provided by Dream World Cirque who wowed the crowd with stilt walkers (a zebra!), acrobats and aerialists spinning above the crowd on silk ropes. (For any of our brave awardees wishing to try it themselves, www.JenaCarpenter.com donated a free circus arts class in the gift bags).
Finally, the awardees were brought up on stage one last time for a final photo, and nearly 150 of them were showered with confetti as the event came to a close. Guests spent the rest of the day enjoying the Universal Studios theme park, and remained on CityWalk into the evening.