When Paula Abdul arrived at the Secret Room Oscar Celebrity Retreat, she was warmly welcomed by Amy Boatwright, president of Secret Room Events. It was a private event held at the SLS Hotel for Academy Award nominees, talent, and media to enjoy. Among the guests were Silver Linings Playbook’s Jackie Weaver, Eric Roberts, Jackie Collins, Sofia Milos, Jillian Clare, Hunter King, Sandra Vidal, Kate Linder, plus many more VIPs.
All were pleased that Easter Seals was the worthwhile charity showcased at the fabulous event. Easter Seals benefited from donations, plus the celebrities signed special gift bags that will be auctioned to raise more money to provide services in education and outreach programs. Easter Seals is at the forefront of advocacy for people living with autism and other disabilities. A young spokesperson there told me, “the services help us live, work, and play in our communities.”
Lots of fine items and services were promoted at the Secret Room Event, everything from Wolfgang Puck’s tasty treats, to vacation retreats, from IMAX Theatres, to 3D Crest Whitestrips. It was a wild assortment of wonderment chatting with the variety of interesting sponsors and learning so much about places and products, while sipping wine from Andrew Murray Vineyards.
The most enthusiastic actress was Lauren Potter, who plays Sue Sylvester’s cheerleading assistant on Glee. She may have Down syndrome, but nothing seems to get her down. Lauren was thrilled meeting the sponsors, and vice versa. Some learned about President Obama appointing Potter in an advisory position to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. The young lady has so much to offer and we enjoyed a brief chat about the onsite spa and hair treatments by Blow Angels at the lounge. We were giggling over the Kix’ies Thigh Highs. Other items included cozy Kim Salmela designer pillows, comfy Julie Lopez Shoes, Ronaldo Jewelry designs, VivaBeads, and awesome VitaMedica skin care.
A real highlight for the 2013 Red Carpet Celebrity Retreat honoring the 85th Annual Academy Awards was the special tropical oasis Travel Lounge for celebrities, gifting packages to nine different luxury destinations including private island stays. Celebrities were also gifted luggage from Biaggi and resort wear from designer Gloria Del Rio to complete their travel experience. Participating travel sponsors included the brand new Bora Bora Sofitel, Coco Collection Prive Maldives, Royal Belize, Pimalai Thailand Resort and Villas, W Hotel and Villas Bali, Hotel Espansa Spain, Park Hyatt Aviara Resort San Diego, Ti Sana Spa and Retreat in Italy. All for Hollywood’s elite, oh, my!
Well, as my friend Lash Fary, founder of Distinctive Assets, says, “The Oscars are the Super Bowl of Awards Season,” so you’ve got to go big or stay home. Fary’s firm started the celebrity swag craze about 15 years ago, and he seemed to go overboard this year with his traditional “Everyone Wins at the Oscars Nominee Gift Bag.” It’s for all the “losers,” the main nominees who didn’t take home an Oscar. The day after the Oscars Distinctive Assets delivers a consolation goodie bag to them worth in excess of $45,000. Whew!
Some of the items included an Aussie resort stay on Lizard Island, Koloa Landing Resort package, Touchfire iPad Keyboard, Lierac Paris skin care, Slimware dinnerware, Chocolatines by Sweet Endeavours, Take 2: Your Guide to Happy Endings and New Beginnings by Leeza Gibbons, and so many more wonderful things, big and small.
“We always look forward to introducing celebrities to an array of companies with fabulous gifts to share, knowing it will truly brighten someone’s day. Even Hollywood’s most acclaimed stars are disappointed at an Oscar loss, and when our consolation gifts show up the next day, we like to think it is a welcome distraction,” Fary explains his marketing approach. Judging by the response from the stars over the years, it has been working. Umm, I can picture Hugh Jackman smiling now.