A year ago, Vista had to make the hard decision to cancel our annual Starlight Benefit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After a 20+ year run, we were crushed to have to pull the plug on this beloved event.
Fast-forward to Spring 2021. With live events still on hold, we've done some creative thinking to reimagine the Starlight Benefit for a virtual world. We're pleased to announce:
STARLIGHT BENEFIT 2021: A New Day
Online Auction: April 12-24
Student/Member Enrichment Fund Campaign: April 24-30
You'll be seeing more information about how the online auction will work plus a preview of some of the exciting packages we've gathered over the next few weeks. Today, we'd like to talk about the theme for Starlight Benefit 2021: A New Day.
2020 presented Vista's students and members with unprecedented challenges as the world adapted to life in quarantine, but they are coming back stronger than ever to face 2021 with a new energy. With this in mind, Vista Chief Executive Officer Helen Bosch was stirred by the lyrics of the song "Feeling Good:"
Birds flying high, you know how I feel
Sun in the sky, you know how I feel
Breeze driftin' on by, you know how I feel
It's a new dawn - It's a new day - It's a new life for me
This familiar standard, with music and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley, is from the 1964 musical The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd. It's been covered by musicians from every genre – search on YouTube and you'll find versions by everyone from Tony Bennett to George Michael to Jennifer Hudson. It was performed by John Legend at the recent inauguration ceremonies. The lyrics seem to be customized to describe the incredible year—and growth—that Vista's students and members have experienced.
"A New Day" by Engage program member Cara Sprouls
Cara was motivated by the theme to create the beautiful artwork you see above. Cara is an active member of Vista's Connect Through Art program. Working with Arts Coordinator Samantha Smith, Cara transposed her feelings, evoked by the lyrics of "Feeling Good," to the canvas. This beautiful sunrise certainly catches the optimistic tone of the song!
Another piece of art by Cara, designer of this year's Starlight Benefit artwork.
We're also taking inspiration from the theme as we put together the exciting packages we'll be featuring in the online auction! Many of the items are donated by Vista family members and our community partners from Vista's Ventures Business Services and Employment Services, who support our students and members in their journey to independence. You'll also find goods and gift cards from familiar local businesses that you may have frequented if you've visited our campuses along the Connecticut shoreline. The auction website will go live on April 8, when you'll be able to preview the amazing selection we've put together, with bidding going live on April 12 and concluding on April 24.
More to come!To learn more about the Starlight Benefit 2021 and sponsorship opportunities, click here.