On Friday, October 11, Points of Light (POL) hosted its annual Tribute Awards, a star-studded event to honor volunteerism and service at the Embassy of Italy. Despite the rainy weather, the mood inside was festive and celebratory. Upon arrival at the Embassy, guests were able to enjoy a sneak preview of the custom Fiat 500 that was included in POL’s online auction.
After walking the red carpet just inside the embassy entrance, guests entered the reception where wines personally selected and donated by Robert Mondavi were served. While guests nibbled on the Italian-inspired menu provided by Windows Catering, they listened to a local classical guitarist, Griffin Burn. The Atrium of the Italian Embassy was designed in an Italian street festival theme – inspired by Siena during the Palio or the Amalfi Coast at sunset. Strands of lights criss-crossed the ceiling over round and square tables dressed in an alternating fuschia and natural weave linens. Centerpieces, provided by Karin’s Florist, incorporated colors such as yellow and orange dahlias, roses, delphinium and sunflowers, in a stone vessel.
Photo courtesy of Points of Light.
The Tribute Awards celebrates President George H. W. Bush’s legacy of volunteerism. According to Points of Light Chairman of the Board and the President’s son, Neil Bush, President Bush Sr. once said, “If I could leave but one legacy to this country, it would not be … in treaties signed or awards won, it would be a return to the moral compass that must guide America through the next century. I’m talking about a respect for the goodness that makes this country great, a rekindling of that light lit from within to reveal America as it truly is … a country of millions of points of light.”
Event co-emcees Elisabetta Canalis and Greta Van Susteren. Photo courtesy of Points of Light.
This year’s program honored individuals who truly represented those points of light. The event was led by co-emcees Elisabetta Canalis, Italian supermodel and actresss, and Greta Van Susteren, host of the prime-time news and interview program, “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren” (Fox News Channel). The individuals honored during the program were:
- Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey: When superstorm Sandy hit his state, the Governor worked with thousands of volunteers, reminding the country that when people suffer, we all must to work together, putting aside our differences, to aid families and communities in need.
- Gary Oppenheimer, Executive Director and Founder of AmpleHarvest.org: As director of a community garden in rural New Jersey, Gary Oppenheimer saw a lot of fresh produce being left to rot in the garden while many families were struggling day to day to afford healthy food. Oppenheimer launched AmpleHarvest.org to connect gardeners with food pantries eager for freshly harvested, locally grown food.
- Citi, accepted by Francesci Vann d’Archirafi, CEO of Citi Transaction Services: Citi has long encouraged skills-based volunteering, where its employees use their professional and leadership skills to help organizations and individuals in their community. Last year alone, Citi provided more than 1.3 million hours of service in more than 100 countries.
- Amy Paterson, Co-founder of My Little Waiting Room: When Amy Paterson was 34 years old, she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. Though she had support from her family and friends, she had difficulty arranging child care for her many appointments. So that other families would have one less thing to worry about, Amy co-founded My Little Waiting Room®, one of the first drop-in child care centers in a hospital. In just a few years, My Little Waiting Room has provided care for more than 15,000 child visits and become a model for other hospitals around the country.
2013 Tribute Awards Honorees. Photo courtesy of Points of Light.
Special Events Services
The Webster Group performed many special events services for the Tribute Awards including development, seating, and registration, as well as all production logistics. The production services included décor conception and execution, show flow and stage management, catering, A/V and lighting planning, valet coordination, and coordination of security details with the Embassy of Italy. The Webster Group was proud to partner with Points of Light for a second consecutive year on this prestigious and successful event.