Stepping Up: The 12th Annual Step Up Inspiration Awards at the Beverly Hilton

Dawn McCoy  (ummm…me) at the 12th Annual  Step Up Inspiration Awards at the Beverly Hilton

Dawn McCoy (ummm…me) at the 12th Annual Step Up Inspiration Awards at the Beverly Hilton

Have I mentioned how much I love Step Up? I know, I know. I have – and have again.

The stars of Step Up with star, Lea Michele. Their lights all shine equally bright!

The stars of Step Up with star, Lea Michele. Their lights all shine equally bright!

The Step Up logo is more than just a logo…it's a mantra.

The Step Up logo is more than just a logo…it’s a mantra.

But it’s just because that’s how deeply it lives in my heart, and impacts my everyday life. I was introduced to Step Up by my best friend, actress Sarah Jane Morris 3 years ago, and I quickly became a member, changing my life  – and my heart – for the better.

My best friend, Sarah Jane Morris, & I at the 12th annual Step Up Inspiration Awards at the Beverly Hilton on Friday, June 5th, 2015.

My best friend, Sarah Jane Morris, & I at the 12th annual Step Up Inspiration Awards at the Beverly Hilton on Friday, June 5th, 2015.

This past Friday, June 5th, 2015 was my second year to attend the Step Up Inspiration Awards – and their 12th year of hosting this awards luncheon, so full of heart.

But this year, I didn’t just attend as a guest, I was also honored to be the announcer of the show – or as they call it – their “Voice of God.”

Are you there, God? It's me, Dawn.

Are you there, God? It’s me, Dawn.

And yes, you can call me that from now on. I’m kidding. Kinda.

Behind the scenes action at the Inspiration Awards. Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Behind the scenes action at the Inspiration Awards. Generated by IJG JPEG Library

No, it really was a dream come true, and not just because it was the first time I had been the announcer at an awards show.

That's me. Always straddling the line between talent and press. Literally.

Being interviewed on the red carpet. That’s me. Always straddling the line between talent and press. Literally. I mean, we took down the rope so we could do interviews for #Dear15Me.

As I sat there with 850 others in the room, feeling my own dream come to life, I got to hear the stories of dreams coming true for so many others, including Julie Bowen…

The ridiculously impressive - and kind - Julie Bowen. Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

The ridiculously impressive – and kind – Julie Bowen. Generated by IJG JPEG Library

Cristela Alonzo…

Our charming emcee - and my fellow Texan (holla!) , Cristela Alonzo.

Our charming emcee – and my fellow Texan (holla!) , Cristela Alonzo.

Lea Michele…

The lovely Lea Michele at the Step Up Inspiration Awards. Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

The lovely Lea Michele at the Step Up Inspiration Awards. Generated by IJG JPEG Library

honoree Peter Kim of Hudson Jeans…

Honoree, Peter Kim, CEO of Hudson Jeans, as photographed by Amy Tierney

Honoree, Peter Kim, CEO of Hudson Jeans, as photographed by Amy Tierney

and honoree, actress & director, Elizabeth Banks.

Honoree, Elizabeth Banks, as photographed by Felix Salzman

Honoree, Elizabeth Banks, as photographed by Felix Salzman

But, I also got to see the girls of Step Up, whose dreams are coming true – like honoree Maria – simply by being able to graduate high school and attend college, thanks to Step Up, so that they can pursue their dreams.

Step Up Honoree, senior Maria Soto. This girl is everything we wish we were at that age!

Step Up Honoree, senior Maria Soto. This girl is everything we wish we were at that age!

 

Step Up believes all girls should have the opportunity to fulfill their potential, and the Inspiration Awards raises 55% of the funds Step Up needs to serve its Los Angeles community for one year. Know how much we raised this year? Over $400,000!! We went well past our goal of $75,000!

Speaking of raising money, I have never seen anyone in entertainment work so hard (while being SO adorable and full of heart) as Modern Family’s Julie Bowen did, while trying to raise that money. I wish I could say every celebrity put this much heart into their work with charities!

I've always really, really liked Julie Bowen, but after seeing her work her heart out? I can honestly say that I LOVE this woman!!

I’ve always really, really liked Julie Bowen, but after seeing her work her heart out? I can honestly say that I LOVE this woman!!

It was a day that I will always will remember, not just because I was surrounded by the most talented people with the most generous of hearts, but because for the first time, I actually could count myself as one of them. Thank you for letting me be a very small part of the magic, Step Up.

So incredibly honored to be in this company. Wow.

So incredibly honored to be in this company. Wow.

Memories like those never die.

 

xoxo,
Dawn