The 88th Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, presented itself not only as a night of entertainment and adoration of Hollywood’s favorite stars, but as a night focused on charity and giving to those in need. In Phoenix, Arizona, this gracious giving could be seen at the Arizona Biltmore, where the 22nd Annual GlitzGlamGive Oscar Experience Gala was taking place. This event focused its efforts on raising money to support the Arthritis Foundation as well as its children’s camp, Camp Cruz.

The evening began with a pre-show party in the reception hall lobby. Guests arrived wearing their most elegant dresses and suits, adorned with fine jewelry and accessories. Upon entering the event, attendees were met with a red carpet and painted, golden men costumed to resemble Oscar trophies. Guests were able to take pictures on the red carpet before checking in and making their way through the event. Inside there were hightop tables decorated beautifully around the room, with booths lined up and down the room giving information about the companies and foundations that had contributed to the overall event. Caterers danced around the room, offering guest unlimited amounts of delicious hors d’oeuvres to try. GlitzGlamGive_mysterybox tableHowever, the caterers weren’t the only ones gliding around the event. Numerous beauty pageant queens, ranging from Miss Arizona to Miss Biltmore, and special Star Wars characters, Darth Vader and Princess Leia Organa, were mingling and taking pictures with the guests. A skilled pianist played special movie-themed songs for the guest to enjoy while they waited for the main event to begin. At the front of the room was a large  ROLFS backdrop where people could snap even more pictures with some oscar themed props, and a large table where guest could purchase a mystery bag filled with a surprise gift. On the other side of the room was an enclosed photo booth for guest to play with, and then SmartFem’s Social Media Lounge. Inside the lounge was a beautiful collection of furs guests could try on and take pictures with, which were provided by Evans Furs. After about an hour and a half of picture-taking, mingling, munching, and meandering, the doors to the reception hall were opened and guests flooded into the room to their specific tables.

The reception hall was filled with round tables adorned in sequined, light purple table covers, and gorgeous glass tree center pieces. As guests took their seats, the first event of the night began. ROLFS put on a fashion show with models rocking Star Wars themed outfits. Models flew down the runway with galactic dresses, robes, furs, shoes, hair, and makeup. Once the fashion show was over the mistress of ceremonies, ABC 15’s Danielle Lerner, invited the evening’s GlitzGlamGive Medical Honoree, John K. Bradway, up on the stage to accept his award and to say a few words. Once GlitzGlamGive_fashionshowBradway left the stage the room’s jumbo screens changed to the Academy Awards, and the first course of the three course meal was served. Waiters brought out a beautiful floral green salad that came with roasted yellow beats, apples, peppered goat cheese, tomatos, sugared pecans, and a Spanish sherry vinaigrette. Next up on the stage was the night’s Adult Honoree, Fergie Jenkins. This professional baseball players of 21 years developed osteoarthritis (OA) and underwent knee replacement surgery in both of his knees. Jenkins believes that research in OA will help provide other treatment options for arthritis in the future.

When Jenkins’ acceptance speech ended, the Oscars began. Chris Rock was front and center as the host of the 88th Academy Awards. He joked continuously about the lack of diversity in this year’s pool of candidates and had the audience laughing over and over. While Chris Rock went on with his hilarious bits, the main course of the evening was served to the guests. A grilled fillet of beef and an herb marinated salmon fillet were brought out, accompanied by truffle potatoes, grilled asparagus, and baby carrots. The audience ate away as the stars made their way to the stage to announce the first group of Oscar winners. After the first group of winners were announced and the Oscars cut to a commercial break, the second GlitzGlamGive event began. The evening’s auction opened up, presenting getaway trips, signed sports jerseys and helmets, and elegant accessories for the attendees to bid on. With the auction over, the screen switched back to the Academy Awards with audience members eager to see the winners of the upcoming categories.

After the second section of the Oscar winners were announced, the next GlitsGlamGive honoree was invited up on the stage. The sweet, young Nessa Bear took to the stage, telling the audience of her lifelong struggles with arthritis. Bear was diagnoses with psoriasis, ichthyosis, and eczema around the age of 5, and was later diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis at the age of 8. It was soon after that Bear was recommended to attend Camp Cruz, a camp for children suffering from different forms of arthritis. There, she was able to play and connect with other children like her. Bear then accepted her award, and made her way back to her seat. The end of the sweet, little girl’s speech led to the start of the Juvenile Arthritis Camp donations. Attendees all around the room were donating thousands of dollars towards this event, and the room roared with charitable glee.

GlitzGlamGive_receptionWith the donations portion over, the Oscars switched back onto the jumbo screens and the final course was served. A chocolate orange hazelnut “crescendo” crunch with white chocolate orange sauce, berries, and a chocolate stick was brought out, along with coffee upon request. The last portion of the Oscars was the section audience members were most excited for. Viewers sat anxiously in their chairs as the best actor, actress, and picture were announced. The crowd absolutely lost it when Leonardo DiCaprio finally won this first Oscar Award.

With the event coming to a close, attendees grabbed their complementary gifts, said their goodbyes, and made their way back down the red carpet. Many guests wore looks of satisfaction as a result of their charitable giving and enjoyment had from watching the Academy Awards. It was a night that, in all aspects, was truly unforgettable.

OSCAR WINNERS:

Best Picture- Spotlight

Actor in a Leading Role- Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Actress in a Leading Role- Brie Larson, Room

Actor in a Supporting Role- Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

Actress in a Supporting Role- Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Animated Feature Film- Inside Out

Cinematography- Emmanuel Lubezki, The Revenant

Costume Design- Jenny Beavan, Mad Max: Fury Road

Directing- Alejandro G. Inarritu, The Revenant

Documentary (Feature)- Amy

Documentary (Short Subject)- A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness

Film Editing- Margaret Sixel, Mad Max: Fury Road

Foreign Language Film- Son of Saul

Makeup and Hairstyling- Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin, Mad Max: Fury Road

Music (Original Score)- Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight

Music (Original Song)- Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith with “Writing’s on the Wall,” Spectre

Production Design- Colin Gibson and Lisa Thompson, Mad Max: Fury Road

Short Film (Animated)- Bear Story

Short Film (Live Action)- Stutterer

Sound Editing- Mark Mangini and David White, Mad Max: Fury Road

Sound Mixing-Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo, Mad Max: Fury Road

Visual Effects- Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington and Sara Bennett, Ex Machina

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)- Charles Randolph and Adam McKay, The Big Short

Writing (Original Screenplay)- Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy, Spotlight