By Camryn Mclen
I’ve always loved shows like “Gossip Girl” and “Beverly Hills, 90210”– I think I’ve watched them about seven or eight times each. Although the shows are fictional, that doesn’t necessarily mean what goes on in those shows is fake. In both shows, the characters would always either go to lavish parties and events, such as charity galas, or even just expensive birthday parties. I could never imagine myself living that kind of rich, socialite lifestyle because I was simply never a trust fund baby who was escorted by a limo to school every day like the kids in “Gossip Girl.” That lifestyle is so out of reach for me.
Luckily, I was eventually able to see that type of environment in person, thanks to creative agency Luxe and City, a “foundation of creatives supporting the arts and cultural industries,” who helped sponsor the event. I don’t think I had ever been so excited to go to an event or party in my life than I was that night.
The Scottsdale 20/30 Club, whose purpose is to allow young men to give back to their communities, hosted their 32nd annual Nite Flite Gala in November with a red carpet theme. This year, the club partnered with the Boys Hope Girls Hope organization to help raise money for them. Usually in the shows I mentioned before the purpose of those lavish events aren’t always clear, so I thought it was admirable to see that the event clearly stated what charity they intended to help.
The gala was outdoors and took place at the W Hotel in Scottsdale because, let’s be real, where else would something as fancy as this take place? I had never been to the W before, but when I got there it was just as elegant as I had thought it would be. Upon entering the hotel, all you could see were the flashing lights coming from photographers’ cameras as each person walked across a red carpet.
When I would see these kinds of gatherings on TV shows, everyone was dressed to the nines. This meant I had to try my best to look like I fit in there because I certainly did not. Once I got inside the hotel, everything just looked expensive.
There were several photo ops for guests including a space with magazine cover backdrops, but my favorite was probably the 360 degree camera, which you may have seen on red carpets for award ceremonies such as the Grammys.
Guests in attendance were also “treated to food and drinks from local restaurants, live music and entertainment, casino games, and night-long raffle prizes.” There was also an auction toward the end of the night for items such as paintings and cigars, which I heard someone bid $3,000 for… but at least it was for charity.
When I think back to that night, I think of it as my “off-brand Cinderella moment.” By this I mean that I got to dress up in a nice gown with nice jewelry and look fancy for a night before I had to go back to doing my usual routine the following day in a T-shirt and jeans. Even though it only lasted a couple hours, unlike the TV shows where it basically lasts their entire lives, I wouldn’t change a thing about it.
Being able to experience something like this is certainly something I will never forget and will always be grateful for. Though this was a great night for me and several others, the most important thing was that the amount of money raised for the Boys Hope Girls Hope organization exceeded $1 million.