On September 16, 2017, Give Kids the World (GKTW) hosted its annual charity event—Give Kids the World Black and White Gala—for 1,500 attendees at The Hyatt Regency Orlando. GKTW is a storybook-themed resort that provides cost-free vacations for families of children with life-threatening illnesses. Each year, Hello! Florida partners with GKTW to produce this event, serving as the overall creative producer for the gala. As the producer, we are responsible for theme selection, story development, entertainment scripting, choreography direction, environment design, content development for the screen, logistics, show flow, and stage management.
This year's theme was "Night of Dreams." The old expression goes, "It's always darkest before the dawn," but what does that really mean? Sunset is considered the ending of a day, the closing of a chapter; yet despite the beautiful colors, the brightness of the day is fading. Amidst that twilight glow and the ever-encroaching drench of moonlight, the "darkness" you were afraid of is still just as beautiful. For in the darkness comes clarity, reflection, and a time to truly come alive. The darkness gives way to stars shining bright and an awareness of the vastness and complexity of our universe. Just when it seems that we're at our darkest, most pensive state, a bright new day full of hope is there, ready to burst forth for us to bask in its warmth. This year we brought that journey to life through four acts that took place during dinner. Each act was choreographed with multimedia elements that elevated the feeling we wanted to bring forth with each performance.
The journey from sunset to sunrise is symbolic of the journey of families visiting Give Kids the World Village. A young, healthy child is somehow stripped of a carefree life in favor of one of the unknown, where the cycle of sunset to sunrise is not a daily given. But even in this challenging time, there is still beauty in the transition, for in this twilight time where dreams are had and rest is sought, there exists a place where anything is possible. And that place is real, at Give Kids the World Village. For among the glow of the night sky and the twinkle of stars, families go on a journey of happiness that inspires hope that a bright new day will come.
For more information about Give Kids the World and to find out how you can help, visit www.gktw.org.