Last night I was delighted to attend the official ribbon cutting ceremony at Haydenfilms Institute in Breinigsville. I sat down with Hayden a week or so ago at the suggestion of Frank Facchiano from the Chamber. In his words “we are of a kindred spirit”. Frank was right.

There are two things bigger than Hayden Craddolph (the guy is like 6’8”!)… his smile, and his enthusiasm for film making in Lehigh Valley. What sets his institute apart is the “focus on student and independent content rather than commercialization.” Ok, I stole that quote from their vision statement.

Back to the party. Yes, there was a big red ribbon and the clown size scissors to cut it. Yes, there were proclamations from local politicians. And of course there were a bunch of the “usual suspects” who always show up for these events. After all, food was served and Clover Hill’s wine was poured. But the highlight for me was seeing the local kids that will star in the upcoming “Dance Wars, The Movie” perform.

After viewing a teaser trailer shot in familiar locations, four guys starring in the movie took turns giving a freestyle performance. I’m glad I didn’t have to judge who won that dance war. They were all good!

At the celebration I, like others, wore a blue ribbon tied around my wrist. That indicated I bought a $10 chance to win a free trip to Hawaii, Las Vegas or Florida for two including airfare and hotel accommodations. All monies collected will be used to produce public service announcements aimed at educating at-risk teens in the community. Hayden’s philosophy is all about giving back to the community. That’s why he started this non-profit.

I had to sneak out during a screening of “The Hollow Tree” whose director, Patrick Steward, is a Parkland High School graduate, so I’m not sure when the drawing for the trip will be held. Like Hayden, who moved back from Los Angeles, I love living in and promoting Lehigh Valley…but I wouldn’t mind visiting Hawaii.

Does anyone know when the winner will be announced?