Starlight celebrated its 32nd Annual Benefit Gala Saturday, September 22, with co-chairs The Deramus Family and Jean & Don Wagner hosting a wonderful evening under the stars with the theme, “Together We Shine.”
Shine they did, as guests came together to support and raise funds – more than $600,000 – that will benefit Starlight in not only entertaining, but in educating aspiring young performers and preparing them to shine brightly in their future arts endeavors.
The evening began with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and photos in the Shirley Helzberg Garden of Stars before guests walked the red carpet to the Starlight stage for the main event. Students from Starlight’s Education & Outreach programs opened the night with a beautiful rendition of a tune from the hit movie musical The Greatest Showman.
After the welcome note and another beautiful performance, the audience enjoyed a surprise video from 2009 Vincent Legacy Scholarship recipient turned YouTube sensation, Kalen Allen, who introduced the delicious multi-course dinner. After dinner service, Augie & Laura Huber were presented the 2018 Star Award for their outstanding contribution and long-time commitment to Starlight Theatre and the Kansas City community.
Additional live entertainment from students representing Starlight STARS, Vincent Legacy Scholarships, Blue Star Awards and Starlight STARS of Tomorrow delighted the crowd throughout the event. The dinner and program portion of the evening concluded with Rich Baker, Starlight’s President and CEO, announcing the much-anticipated 2019 AdventHealth Broadway Season, followed by a surprise performance from cast members of Beautiful – The Carole King Musical.
After the program, guests made their way to Starlight’s Applause Club for cocktails and dancing. It was truly a wonderful evening under the stars!