During my days at USA Today I photographed major sporting events and rock stars, the head of the CIA and even shadowed presidents. It's an incredible rush to meet a celebrity but I was VERY nervous/excited this time. Patrick is as kind and calm as everyone had said he would be, graciously introducing himself to me at the beginning of the private VIP reception and carefully taking the time for genuine conversation with countless others throughout the night. He made sure to shake the hands of the band members, lighting crew, event volunteers, and asked questions about where folks are from and find commonalities about his upbringing in Maine. I adored watching his relationship with his family and was happy to overhear notes about his role on "Grey's Anatomy" and potential plans to buy a house in Maine.
After the VIP reception and some press interviews, a playful cocktail hour encouraged attendee participation in lab activities led by Eepy Bird (the Coke and Mentos guys from Maine), live music and our photo booth. Guests later transitioned to the ballroom for a 400-person dinner in the round with entertainment, awards and auctions peppered throughout.
There are a lot of images I wish I could share but cannot, understandably, so below is but a handful. You can spy a few more over at the MCC's Facebook page and on various media outlets (such a thrill to work on deadline again!). Huge thanks to Heather Cuzzi of Cairn Events for planning the gala and entrusting us to photograph it!