It’s been 24 days since our Red Carpet Buddy Event and I am still hearing back about how incredible it was. It has always been my favorite Buddy Event each season. I love getting dressed up with my co-workers, the PFO teens and our PFO buddies. I love being in the position of giving others their chance to shine, their own moments of fame, a day where they get to be the star.

We started the day at our office where 6 incredible makeup and hair stylists gave of their time and talent to “glam-ify” our buddies – even more so than usual! The two hours we were at the office together quickly became some of my favorite PFO memories ever. Our buddies walked into the office and were met with incredibly kind hellos from our
stylists and then were quickly guided to sit down at a styling chair. They’d choose what they wanted their hair and makeup to look like and then the curlers and makeup brushes got moving. There was laughter and seemingly effortless conversation and that energy that fills a room when a group of people are preparing for a big event together.

Once everything was rolling at the office — aka Hair & Makeup Headquarters — I made my way back over to the theatre to check on the progress of set up. We had teens and alumni there putting together the balloon arch – our favorite PFO tradition – and parents helping to set up our lobby area. The red carpet was laid out, the sound system was being set and balloons were tied around CPCC’s campus to direct our families and audience members to an afternoon to remember!
Our volunteers and the rest of our teens quickly began arriving and everything just fell into place. I made my way over to the limo pickup and met our buddies who were dressed to the nines in their red carpet best and our buddies who were in the cast who were dressed to impress on stage in our show of A Year With Frog & Toad. The energy was just pure excitement – excitement for the limo ride (generously provided by Travis Cash at VIP Transportation Services LLC), the red carpet, the show, and the opportunity to be surrounded by 400 people who support inclusion in all aspects of the word.

When we arrived at the theatre, we were met by almost 100 adoring fans, paparazzi, teens and event volunteers. Our PFO buddies were walked down the red carpet escorted by their teens and some PFO alumni to hoots and hollers, sign language cheering and camera flashes. They were given flowers and high fives and that feeling you get when you’re surrounded by a whole lotta people who love you just as you are. We walked through the balloon arch and into the theatre to watch a play starring PFO teens and buddies – a show all about friendship and adventure. There was laughter and endless cheering…so much pride and a theatre filled with joy.
I often found myself just standing and watching what was happening around me…it was one of those times where you’re just so darn grateful for what you GET to do and the people you GET to be around and the privilege of working in a place where you GET to show that the arts and friendships and work spaces and our city are so, so much better when everyone is included.
We always say that it takes a village to make the PFO magic happen. Buddy Events are comprised of a unique community of families, buddies, teenagers, volunteers and supporters…it’s these people that are working together to make our city a more inclusive place…and it’s events like PFO’s Red Carpet Buddy Event that show our city what’s possible.

If you couldn’t make it to this year’s event, head over to our Flickr page and check out some more pictures from the weekend and then be sure to put March 3rd, 2019 in your calendar for next year. I can guarantee you it’s an event you don’t want to miss!