Big Night Out Gala Recap

On Friday, February 16th, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona hosted our annual Big Night Out gala fundraiser at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa. The Mardi Gras Glamour theme came alive with more than 650 guests all decked out in gold, green, and purple in celebration of our mentoring programs. 

The evening began with a cocktail reception hosted by Amazon and 4Ever Young Anti-Aging Solutions, where guests could mingle, enjoy complimentary cocktails, tray passed hors d’oeuvres, and purchase mystery boxes stuffed with items donated from local restaurants, businesses, and sports teams. It also featured a live gold carpet that attendees could stroll up and pose with. 

Guests were escorted into the Mardi Gras-themed ballroom by the members of the Bad Cactus Brass Band. Big Sister Kirsten and Little Sister Elliana kicked off the program with an intro to BBBSAZ. Event chairs Jill Watts, Shawn McClain, OD Harris, and Elizabeth Ward Harris welcomed guests. They expressed their experiences with mentorship and the difference that it makes in the community. Emcee Ian Schwartz encouraged everyone in the room to step up and become a Big. Following dinner, BBBSAZ President and CEO Laura Capello, addressed the crowd, giving a breakdown of BBBSAZ’s current affairs and further emphasized the impact that mentorship makes on the youth in our community. Auctiontainer Letitia Frye then stepped up and encouraged attendees to donate to help BBBSAZ continue its mentorship work. Guests were treated to stories from matches explaining how much being a Big or Little has impacted their lives. Board Chair Brian Wood honored the Bigs of the Year with awards and recognition, as well as a custom poem by Fadi to commemorate their match.  

After the program concluded, guests were invited to celebrate a successful evening at the After Party hosted by Pharos Foundation. Drop Top Entertainment kept guests out on the dance floor all evening and provided two photo booths for extra fun! Snacks, drinks, and Mardi Gras favors were a big hit! 

Big Night Out: Mardi Gras Glamour was a huge success, raising more than $435,000!  We want to thank all community partners, attendees, and sponsors who made this event possible. We are blown away by the community’s support. 

Related Stories