Oscar Night America helps charities

Dec 16, 2005 by Ian Evans

Though most people in America can’t actually go to the Academy Awards, participants in 46 cities will be able to attend glamorous Oscar Night America parties and support charities at the same time.

Now in its thirteenth year, Oscar Night America (ONA) is the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ grassroots program which enables charities to host glamorous Oscar® viewing parties.

These events feature the live broadcast of the Awards Presentation, which will be televised by the ABC Television Network.

“We created Oscar Night America to let people across the country participate in the excitement that is generated by the Academy Awards,” said Academy Executive Director Bruce Davis. “The fact that the viewing parties benefit local charities is an added bonus.”

This year, Charlotte, North Carolina and Hartford, Connecticut join the ONA family. The other ONA 2006 cities are Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Greensboro/Winston-Salem, Greenville, Honolulu, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Little Rock, Louisville, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, Omaha, Orlando, Palm Beach County, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Providence, Raleigh, Sacramento, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa, Tucson and Washington, D.C.

While many of the parties are black-tie shindigs, some have fun themes where partygoers dress like famous couples or characters. These party attendees also get the official commemorative poster and the official Oscar show program.

Only one charity party in a given city may participate in ONA. Events are entirely produced by local non-profit organizations, with the active participation of the local ABC-TV affiliate station.

Last year, 44 charities hosted viewing parties for the 77th Academy Awards®, raising nearly $2.2 million, all of it remaining in local communities. With over 15,400 guests attending, ONA 2005 benefited such charities as the American Diabetes Association, the American Red Cross, the Miami Beach Film Society, the Ronald McDonald House, Special Olympics Texas, and the Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation.

Since its inception in 1994, the program has generated nearly $15 million in funding for a wide spectrum of charitable organizations — every cent staying within the community where it was raised, none going to the Academy.