Party planning tips from the experts

February 17, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
The Oscars are this Sunday, and San Francisco's largest party is hosted by Academy of Friends. Nick Smith visited with these party planners extraordinarie to find out how they pull it all together and to get some tips for your next party.

Tips to make your party special:

  • Have your guests "actively" participate
  • Don't be afraid to think "outside the box"

Academy of Friends Presents: A Night of Superheroes, Villains & Divas
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Fort Mason Festival Pavilion

What's your secret identity? Are you a mild-mannered Joe by day and a dashing hero by night? Are you a plain Jane at work and a dishy diva when the sun goes down? Or is there a devilish and dastardly villain lurking inside you who's just waiting to come out?

Join us at Fort Mason, Sunday, February 22, 2009, for an evening of cocktails, capes, and criminally haute couture as we celebrate the Academy Awards® night and support organizations in our community that help those affected by HIV/AIDS.

Bid on dastardly vacations, hot jewels and villainous fashions in the Silent Auction Salon. Enjoy sinful libations from the best restaurants, distilleries and wineries and lounge in the lairs of SF's top designers.

Top off the evening with dancing and a performance by the international ballroom and Latin dance spectacular, Burn the Floor, other special guests and a live drawing to win a new 2009 Audi.

For more information, click here.

About Academy of Friends:
Academy of Friends annually produces the world's premier Academy Awards Night Charity Gala as the centerpiece of its efforts to raise funds, award donations, and encourage volunteerism that benefit a diverse set of HIV/AIDS direct care and prevention education agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area. Academy of Friends is a credible steward through which individual donors and corporations contribute to such agencies, And these Beneficiary agencies receive funds based on their proven ability to reach, meet the needs of, and have the greatest impact on those most affected by HIV/AIDS.

As an exemplary model of volunteerism and fundraising, Academy of Friends engages and includes an ever-widening circle of friends, and embarks on a concerted effort to expand its reach and diversity to increase broader community awareness of and financial support for those affected by HIV/AIDS.

Academy of Friends is committed to continue its work until the pandemic has passed.

Academy of Friends was founded in 1980 by Kile Ozier as a small, private Oscar Night party---twenty-five friends, some great food, lots of champagne, and plenty of Awards Night glamour. Over subsequent years, the party became an HIV/AIDS fundraiser, a reaction to the toll HIV was taking on the local community. Today, AOF is one of the largest contributors to HIV/AIDS services organizations in the Bay Area. Through the generosity of individual Underwriters, gala ticket buyers, volunteers, and corporate donors, Academy of Friends supports the vital work of organizations providing critical services to those living with HIV and AIDS. Until the pandemic has passed, we are deeply committed to fundraising by presenting quality, responsible events. The Academy of Friends Academy Awards® Night Gala is the crown jewel of our fundraising efforts. Each year, our guests are treated to gourmet food and wine provided by the Bay Area's finest restaurants, caterers and vintners, while enjoying the excitement of the annual Academy Awards broadcast. The evening concludes with a colossal dance party. The 28th Annual Academy of Friends Gala, held on February 24, 2008, distributed over $400,000 to Bay Area HIV/AIDS service organizations, touching the lives of nearly 200,000 people of every race, gender and socioeconomic background. To date, Academy of Friends has distributed $7 million to more than 61 AIDS service agencies.

For more information, visit