By Laura Medina
Last night and this year, Project Angel Food's Divine Design Sale and the glamorous Opening Gala Dinner turned 21 years-old.
This intrepid charity sale and fundraiser has stood the test of time for two decades, setting the standard for other holiday charity galas and fundraisers to follow and emulate.
This year's chair duo, George Anderson (President of Creative Services at The Cimarron Group) and Karo Vartanian (film and tv costume designer and stylist), sense that Divine Design Opening Gala and VIP Shopping were getting set in their ways, setting the standards. They thought it is about time they shake things up to keep the Gala, the charity, and the foundation alive and vital for the next twenty-one years. The theme, this time around...a "Rock n Roll Holiday." The former Robinson-May Department-cum-Divine Design Sale Marketplace is generously garnished by rock n' roll photographs by IMG Images and rock photographer, Steve Erle. Last night's entertainment wasn't the usual prim n' proper runway show marching down the catwalk but...a hot and sexy dance troupe rolling and pumping to rock n' roll classics like Ike & Tina Turner's "Proud Mary."
This year's honoree is a Project Angel Food/Divine Design Sale steadfast...fashion designer, David Meister. In the past five years covering Divine Design Sale Gala's red carpet, Mr. Meister never failed to show up. Sure, there had been and will be celebrities whose star wattage shines brighter than Mr. Meister's but their one time appearance is a fleeting comet to Mr. Meister's constant glow, a reassuring and consistent glow spotlighting the mission of Divine Design Sale and Project Angel Food.
Each and every year this scribe interviews him, he always reminds people about the purpose about this charity sale. The funds raised from this holiday sale pays for 11,000 meals every week that are being delivered to 2,176 severly ill people, with 567 new intakes during the year. What started out as a compassionate meal delivery service to people stricken with AIDS, has grown to taking care for people sicken by cancer, congestive heart failure, emphysema/COPD, stroke/cardio vascular, and diabetes. Money raised from this sale also pays for two nutritionists who inspect each and every meal before it goes into mass production and delivery.
The meals are free of charge, on-staff dieticians tailored each meal to each individual condition, and cooked by professional chefs. Vegetables and fruits are now grown in their new Urban Gardens Initative, taking over neglected city lots to supply fresh produce.
In monetary value, each meal costs $5 but Project Angel Food never charges to those in need. Plus, the home-bound and striken always like to someone check on them.
This year's entertainment was rock n' roll dance troupe.
Fellow Midwestner, actress Jenny Garth honored David Meister with the award.
Actors, Jane Lynch and Eric McCormick having a chat.
Jenny and David showing off his award for dedicated support to Divine Design and Project Angel Food.
It's not just the entertainment or the theme that changed.
Time Warner is the major sponsor of this year's Divine Design Sale. The fundraising sale is rocking with technology.
The media/communications company kindly offers a wifi/entertainment lounge for weary bargainistas, kind-hearted fashionistas, and their patient but tired spouses. While one shops for great deals on great finds, one can drop one's significant other at the Time Warner Lounge to make the shopping easier on them. Think of it as a really awesome day care center for weary partners.
Time Warner has more up its sleeve; and exhausted shoppers and their company have more to do than be couch potatoes surfing the net or watching tv.
Shoppers can jump in a green screen booth, act out their favorite tv fantasies then have them super-imposed on a scene.
Virtual make-believe bringing back the fun of being a kid again but at an higher form.
The tv screen doesn't have to be stationary. Cute attendants, like this guy, are wearing special tee-shirts with a live screen sewn into the tee.
Now, you'll have a real reason to watch a cute guy while you shop the huge markdowns each day for this 3 days sale. Saturday is the 70% off sale, followed by Sunday's 80% sale then finalizing with the mad rush of Monday's 90%. Suggestion, wearing a helmut and some really cool body armor.