After months of preparing, the LifeWorks 15th Annual Academy Awards Gala was finally here. We spent the day at the Hilton Austin, setting up the silent auction tables, running sound checks, filling vases with chocolate, and making sure everything was perfect for the night.
Our first look at the Governor’s Ballroom revealed an elegant mix of opalescent oranges, browns, and shades of gold that filled the room. The low-lit chandeliers above gave everything a soft glow and set the mood for the night.
Dressed in our gowns and tuxedos, we headed down to the ballroom with anticipation. As we took our places, the guests began to arrive, some stopping to pose for the camera on the red carpet with Oscar statues in the background.
The VIP Reception, hosted by Alyssa & Jeff Korn, along with Flanders Corporation, kicked off the night and gave the guests a chance to preview the silent auction items. Within an hour, the ballroom began to fill with Austin’s elite, all of them ready to give to a worthy cause.
Guests sat down to a lavishly prepared dinner, accompanied by a broadcast of the Academy Awards, live from Los Angeles. Waiters brought out garden tomato salads to start, and an entree of shoulder tenderloin beef drizzled in a mushroom red wine sauce, complimented by truffle mashed potatoes, artichoke hearts with gold and red carrots, and glasses of red and white wine. Eggplant wellington was provided for those who wished to eat a vegetarian entree.
As dinner came to an end, the live auction began, and bidding wars ensued. The auctioneer spouted off bidding amounts faster than anyone had expected, lightening the atmosphere. In the middle of the live auction, LaShun Gaines gave an inspiring speech for the “Pave the Way Campaign,” and received a standing ovation at the end. Guests and LifeWorks employees alike were captivated by her stories of struggle, perseverance, and success, which were featured in a video aired earlier in the night.
At the conclusion of the live auction, guests filtered out into the Chocolat and Out of Africa movie studios to mingle, eat a dessert of various fruits and chocolates, and bid on the super silent and silent auction items.
The night ended on a high note, with LifeWorks announcing that the guests had raised $64,000 in the “Paddles Up” auction alone. As the guests began to leave, they thanked LifeWorks for the glamorous night and paved the way for the LifeWorks clients to attain success.