Last Spring we were contacted by the chairs of the Hope Gala to provide the décor for the 32nd Annual Hope Gala benefitting the American Cancer Society. Anytime we are contacted to design an event or even a wedding, the first question we ask is what the overall feel of the event will be. The Hope Gala is an annual black tie event and this year it was being held at the Country Club of Birmingham. The chair and co-chairs wanted the event to reflect The Beverly Hills Hotel, but they worried that this look could not be achieved at the country club.
The Beverly Hills Hotel is nestled on Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills, California. The hotel is traditionally associated with crisp and clean architecture and has one of the most recognizable logos in the hotel industry. Sunset Boulevard is known for its landmarks along with palm trees that line the road.
Birmingham graphic design artist Holly Hollon was commissioned to design the logo and artwork for the Hope Gala. Taking into consideration the desire for the Beverly Hills Hotel feel, Holly crafted a wonderful logo for the 2012 event. The logo appeared on everything from invitations, programs, hand towels, water bottles, programs, favors, and even as a GOBO that greeted guests as they arrived.
To achieve the look that The American Cancer Society wanted, we knew immediately that it would be necessary to pull in a lighting designer. Birmingham is extremely fortunate to have several fabulous designers to choose from, and Andy Tolar of Design Productions instantly jumped on board.
Hundreds of yards of white sheer fabric was brought in to line the walls and create a sleek look representative of the Beverly Hills Hotel. White hoop lampshades were installed over the existing chandeliers to give them a modern look, and white up-lighting was also used in the foyer as guests made their way to the pre-dinner auction area. Palms were also brought in to recreate the feel of Sunset Boulevard.
In the silent auction area guests were greeted by volunteers to receive their auction paddles, and the gentlemen received their white calla lily boutonniere for the evening. The boutonnieres were displayed on a credenza which was covered in sleek, white vinyl, and flanked on either side by contemporary cylinder arrangements of hot pink & yellow calla lilies on a bed of fig leaves and topped with white lampshades.
The silent auction, benefitting The American Cancer Society, was set up in the Upper Lounge of the Country Club of Birmingham. All linens for the event were provided by Kendall Speir of Décor to Adore. Floor length black spandex cloths covered all tables including auction tables, registration, guest tables, and bistro tables.
The honorees for this year’s gala were Governor and Mrs. Bob Riley, who lost their daughter Jenice to cancer in 2001. Since her death the Rileys have continued their strong advocacy for cancer awareness and were recognized for such work at the gala.
As guests moved toward the ballroom for dinner they were once again met by walls of draped sheer fabric from Design Productions, but this time it was lit ink a soft pink, matching the design work of the event. The main console was also transformed with white vinyl and held arrangements of colorful, tropical flowers as well as non-tropical. Square, rectangle, and round glass containers were used with pink crushed glass to create the look. Flowers and plants included hot pink and yellow mini calla lilies, tangerine pincushion protea, pink gloriosa lilies, pink and orange tulips, ginger, anthurium, along with fig leaves and a mixture of lemons, limes, and oranges.
Guests were seated for dinner in the main ballroom. Tables alternated between round and square with the majority being round. These were also adorned with black spandex linens. gold chiavari chairs were brought in from Event Rentals Unlimited. Table arrangements also alternated with a mixture of the same flowers, hot pink and yellow mini calla lilies, tangerine pincushion protea, fuchsia dendrobium orchids, pink gloriosa lilies, vibrant phaleanopsis orchids, pink and orange tulips, nano pineapples, ginger, anthurium, along with crushed pink glass, fig leaves and a mixture of lemons, limes, and oranges. Palms were brought into the ballroom on either side of the presentation screen.
We cannot thank the chairs of this event enough for allowing us to be a part of such a special night! To provide décor for an organization that is as dedicated to helping others such as the American Cancer Society is truly a blessing and an honor.
Dorothy McDaniel’s Flower Market is also on the web www.dorothymcdaniel.com