UC Irvine Medal of Honor fundraiser

A daredevil high-flying acrobat dangles precariously by a long piece of fabric as she swings high over the audience during UCI’s Medal of Honor celebration October 2007.

This post was originally published late last year but I’m republishing it because my earlier blog crashed.

I had the wonderful opportunity to work with good friend fellow photographer Carlos Puma last October.

It was like old times when we both worked at the Press-Enterprise newspaper, yet it was more satisfying in so many other ways.

After setting up the lights in the designated “photography tent,” I left Carlos to work his charm on the various dignitaries and important guests.

I strolled outside where impeccably dressed guests were already arriving at the monstrous white tent set up on the athletic field.

The tent easily accommodated 800 people. It was as big as those used by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

My cursory look around showed UCI had not spared any expense in this major gala event. According to UCI’s website, they raised more than $1.8 million–a new fundraising record for the event.

Every table in the reception area immediately outside the big tent displayed freshly cut flowers by inviting occasion whose owner, Larrissa Rehder,is a UCI alumni.
Larrissa Rehder, UCI alumni created this beautiful floral arrangements

Characters from Wonderworld Entertainment Cirque Soleil “Circus of the Sun” socialized with the guests before the show began.

A woman and man on stilts, an umbrella-toting ringmaster balancing on a silver ball and his sidekick a beautiful young lady dressed like a “bird” and a slender woman with a white painted face dressed in a very interesting white gown mingled with the 500 odd guests.

Minutes before the show began, the maitre d’ beat a cymbal-instrument which resonated with a beautiful tone followed by an announcement for all guests to take their seats inside the big tent.

The event formal was interspersed between acts by Wonder World Entertainment, UCI’s students from the Claire Tevor School of Arts Drama department.

At the conclusion of the formal event, a rocking band Side Effect belted out disco classic tunes like “Disco Inferno,” “September” filling the dance floor almost instantly.

Here’s the rest of the event with my pictures set to music. Budding photographers and photography enthusiasts feel free to comment or ask your questions.