Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County, TX
Gala 2021 Virtual Entertainment Production
Continuing its tradition of working with some of the world’s top charitable organizations, Executive Visions recently provided virtual entertainment production services for Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County’s (CACCC) Gala 2021.
CACCC is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization providing hope to children and families victimized by child abuse. Their proven approach brings experts together under one roof to ensure safety and justice for children. They are the only agency in their community offering services critical to healing, free for life, and have been doing so for nearly 30 years.
The Gala is traditionally the Advocacy Center’s largest annual fundraiser and is considered one of the premier events in Collin County (Plano, Texas). The success of the Gala directly impacts their ability to continue to provide life changing services to the children who need them.
Unable to produce the event in a live setting due to the pandemic, CACCC’s Special Events Manager Dana Packard challenged EVI to assemble a collection of elite entertainers to help fuel the impact of the virtual online event. EVI delivered with a line-up of Music Industry mega stars.
To kick-off the evening, the team secured Country Music Superstar Martina McBride to craft a heartfelt “Welcome” message. Martina recorded a beautiful segment placing the Gala in context of the CAC’s mission and setting the stage for the entertainment to follow.
The music entertainment proper began with 16-time Grammy Award Winning Producer David Foster and American Idol, Television Series and Broadway Icon Katharine McPhee. The husband and wife team performed a stirring 10-minute set, including their legendary arrangement of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, Foster’s instrumental hit “Love Theme from St. Elmo’s Fire” and finally, a sparkling duet of Nat King Cole’s “L.O.V.E.” Foster and McPhee’s performance was punctuated with highly relevant information on the CAC and the importance of the audience’s participation as the life blood of its continued work.
Next up…a beautifully-crafted 23-minute performance by the legendary jazz/pop master from New Orleans…Harry Connick, Jr. Connick, Jr. literally took the show by storm, reeling in the audience with his southern grace and charm as if everyone were hanging out together in his living room. Sitting formidably at his Steinway grand piano, the mega-talented artist spoke, played and sang straight from the heart. Connick, Jr. positioned his performance perfectly, delivering a well-studied and cohesive narrative linking everything back to the CAC’s efforts.
His session kicked-off with a cool-hitting New Orleans blues rendition of “You Are My Sunshine”, followed by a moving performance of “There’s Always One More Time”. From there, Connick, Jr. reflected on life in the pandemic, sharing a tune from his recently-recorded album “Alone with My Faith”. The number chosen was his especially introspective arrangement and music video of “Amazing Grace”, directed by his daughter Georgia on a bitter cold, snowy day at the long-abandoned Sterling Opera House in Derby, CT. Rounding out the set was the performer’s hit song “Come by Me”.
Click on the following image for a short video excerpt from Harry Connick, Jr's. performance.
It was indeed a great honor for EVI to be involved in a fantastic evening of entertainment and fund-raising. The results surpassed funding expectations, ensuring sustainment of the life-changing work of one of North America’s most well-respected non-profit organizations, Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County.
“This year provided us with a unique opportunity to grow and learn new things – break out from what we have known and re-write what our Gala would look like for 2021 while in person events were at a standstill. So much thought and strategy went into this year's Gala plans and the product produced would not have been possible without the guidance of Michael Marto and his team at EVI. Their expertise, follow up, follow through and professionalism are top notch.”
Dana Packard – CACCC Special Events Manager