As the editor of Avenue, I get to go to quite a few fundraisers and/or social occasions. But, for me, the Storybook Ball is special because it’s a night that I don’t need to call the sitter — because it’s meant to be shared with the entire family.
The second annual Storybook Ball was held at the Shaw Conference Centre Saturday, March 2. More than 350 attendees helped raise more than $45,000 for Ronald McDonald House, which provides a home-away-from-home for kids needing medical treatment in Edmonton. RMH offers a place for kids to be kids and to spend quality times with their families away from the hospital environment. And it offers support for families who have to go through the emotional turmoil of seeing a child go through treatments, whether it’s chemotherapy, recovering from a severe accident, or fighting a rare disease.
RMH executive director Martin Dugas said that the home hosted 855 families in 2012.
The event was emceed by CTV’s Erin Isfeld and CISN FM’s Chris Scheetz. In keeping with the fairy tale theme, Isfeld was decked out in a queen’s costume that made her look like she had just come out of the pages of Alice in Wonderland, while Scheetz wore a full-on dragon costume.
Not only did guests get to enjoy dinner and music courtesy of local country artist Danielle Lowe, but there was plenty for the kids to do. Each child got to pick a toy from a wish table, and could make crowns, masks, stars and choo-choo engines at the craft table. Kids could play croquet like they were at a proper tea party, or watch a magic show.
And there were plenty of families who were staying or have stayed at the house on hand. Kids who have gone through treatments acted as spokespeople for the house — and their stories brought real human touches to the event and elicited more than a few tears from the audience. Included in those was a boy who went from being healthy one day, to needing a liver transplant the next; his mother ended up being his donor. It was a reminder that these things can indeed happen to anyone.