We are just a few weeks away from a once-in-a-lifetime event to celebrate ACTS 50th Anniversary! Plans and preparations have been underway for months to create a moment where the past, present, and future are recognized and celebrated simultaneously. What a wonderful evening this is going to be at the Hylton Performing Arts Center!
The Gala will begin with a cocktail hour accompanied by live music provided by the Old Bridge Chamber Orchestra’s string quartet. While guests mingle in the grand foyer, they can enjoy delicious hors d'oeuvres and an open bar, place bids on the silent auction gift baskets, browse the history of ACTS through photographs, or explore the tables of information about all the programs and services offered to our community. A photographer will be making the rounds to capture the tuxes and evening gowns that are sure to make the evening sparkle.
Soon the doors to Gregory Hall will open allowing guests to find their seats at beautifully lit, golden tables. Bottles of red and white Effingham wines will grace each one while dessert centerpieces tempt guests not to wait for their meal. A brief welcome to open the program is followed by the lights dimming and a video begins, honoring fifty years of service in Prince William. Those that haven’t succumbed to sneaking a dessert will delight as waiters from A La Carte begin distributing their delicious first course of the evening and soft music gently filling in behind conversations at each table.
The lights dim again as a second video begins to play, this time looking at how current programs and services are impacting the lives of our neighbors in crisis in every day. After a few minutes, the lights slowly brighten and a moment is taken to honor five community partners who have made a significant impact in the community through ACTS. Recognition, presentation of a gift, well-deserved applause, and then repeated. A big thank you to our honored guests: the Cecil and Irene Hylton Foundation, HomeAid Northern Virginia, Image Church, Prince William Police Department, and Wegmans-Potomac!
Waiters begin scurrying to tables delivering the main course of the evening. The background music is a little more noticeable as is the clanking of forks and knives digging into the mouth-watering meal, but soon conversations strike back up again filling the room with bursts of laughter and buzzing with energy. Feeling less guilty, guests help themselves to the desserts at their tables – more deliciousness prepared by the caterer’s head chef! A drink refill or perhaps some coffee to end the meal.
Then once again the lights dim as a final video reveals to the audience some brand new programs being launched as we build the future of what serving our community can look like. There is already so much momentum for these programs behind the scenes - so many invested partners. The anticipation of how our guests will react to the unveiling is exhilarating! You know the excitement you feel when you know the answer to a question no one else does? Or when you’re about to finally share that big announcement you’ve had to keep silent until now? We believe our audience will experience that kind of feeling too while watching this video!
As they begin to leave, some will stop by to pick up their auction winnings while others chat about the evening, don their coats and say their goodbyes. But everyone, we hope, will leave having been inspired to make a positive impact in the community and truly be part of creating a community where no one goes without or suffers alone.
Now that’s an evening you don’t want to miss.