'OSCAR NIGHT AMERICA' Benefit Expands To 52 Cities
Oscar Night America (ONA), the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' grassroots program that enables local charities to host glamorous Oscar® viewing parties and raise money for their organizations, kicks off its 16th year in 2009.
On Sunday, February 22, 52 cities, including first-timer Grand Rapids, Michigan, will host official Oscar viewing parties during the 81st Academy Awards® ceremony. The events all will feature the live broadcast of the Awards presentation on the ABC Television Network.
"Even in the best of times, the need for financial support keeps growing. So this year we're especially gratified to have so many cities and charities participating in Oscar Night America," said Academy Executive Director Bruce Davis.
In addition to Grand Rapids, ONA 2009 locations are Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Greensboro/Winston-Salem, Greenville, Hartford, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Lewisburg, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Louisville, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, Norfolk, Omaha, Orlando, Palm Beach, Palm Springs, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Providence, Raleigh, Richmond, Sacramento, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Springfield (MO), Tampa, Tucson and Washington, D.C.
Most parties are black-tie affairs, though some are less formal. Some partygoers dress up as famous couples, and some events feature limousine arrivals and red carpets complete with local celebrities, paparazzi and press interviews for arriving guests.
To set these parties apart from the thousands of other events taking place on Oscar Night, each ONA party receives from the Academy copies of the official commemorative poster and the official Oscar show program.
Only one charity party in a given market may participate in ONA. Events are entirely produced by local nonprofit organizations, with the active participation of the local ABC-TV affiliate station.
Last year 51 charities hosted viewing parties for the 80th Academy Awards, raising more than $3.3 million, all of it remaining in local communities. With close to 16,000 guests attending nationwide, ONA 2008 benefited such charities as the American Diabetes Association, the American Red Cross, Ronald McDonald House, Special Olympics, the United Way and the Ellie Fund for Breast Cancer Research.
Since its inception in 1994, the program has generated nearly $24 million in funding for a wide spectrum of charitable organizations - every cent staying within the community where it was raised.
For the 16th consecutive year, Concept Marketing Development of Santa Barbara, California, will assist the Academy in coordinating the program.
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2008 will be presented on Sunday, February 22, 2009, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network beginning at 5 p.m. PT. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.
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About the Academy
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the world's preeminent movie-related organization, with a membership of more than 6,000 of the most accomplished men and women working in cinema. In addition to the annual Academy Awards - in which the members vote to select the nominees and winners - the Academy presents a diverse year-round slate of public programs, exhibitions and events; provides financial support to a wide range of other movie-related organizations and endeavors; acts as a neutral advocate in the advancement of motion picture technology; and, through its Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Film Archive, collects, preserves, restores and provides access to movies and items related to their history. Through these and other activities the Academy serves students, historians, the entertainment industry and people everywhere who love movies.