On a chilled December evening, hundreds of Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD) supporters climbed aboard a magical sleigh and took a journey through the Gumdrop Village, Christmas Town and Who-Ville at the 2018 CHaD Storybook Ball, presented by SLC Group Holdings, LLC.
Creative designers turned Southern New Hampshire University’s (SNHU) Fieldhouse into a sparkling winter wonderland with more than 30 tables and a dozen Christmas trees decorated in the spirit of a winter-themed child’s storybook. Over 340 guests visited this land of winter, enjoying holiday-based books like Elf and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, as well as winter tales such as “I Met a Moose in Maine” and “The Snow Globe Family,” among many more.
The evening’s purpose was to raise funds for critical programs that are solely supported by philanthropy at CHaD, and, through sponsors, donors, and incredibly generous guests, over $185,000 (and counting) was raised.
“What an amazing night! The 45 designers, CHaD staff, and Storybook Ball committee did an incredible job transforming the SNHU Fieldhouse into a winter wonderland,” said Joshua Wright, co-chair of the Storybook Ball committee. “This is a fun and unique event that raised a significant amount of money for all the great work CHaD does.”
One of the most anticipated events of the evening was the announcement of the guests’ favorite tables. Young CHaD patients toured the tables before the ball, and they chose “The Island of Misfit Toys,” replicated in table form by CHaD mom Jacci Dale. The adult guests went for a less traditional holiday theme, casting ballots for “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” expertly crafted by Double Trouble Designs.
CHaD patient Aliyah St. Julus brought the house to its feet with her CHaD story. She is a sickle cell anemia patient who, thanks to the care she’s received at CHaD, has her eyes focused on making the track team this spring at McLaughlin Middle School in Manchester. She was joined on-stage by her pediatrician, Dr. John Holliston of CHaD-Manchester, who presented her with a pair of custom-decorated CHaD track spikes.
Several elements contributed to the fundraising for this year’s event. One of the new features, which tied directly to the winter and holiday themes, was the auction of a dozen decorated Christmas trees. The trees were designed and decorated by talented designers, and featured a variety of themes—“101 Dalmatians,” unicorns, Boston sports, winter wonderland and more.
Several additional elements contributed to the dollars generated for CHaD. Sponsorships were vital, highlighted by the support of SLC Group Holdings, LLC. Additional key partners included NH Healthy Families, GYK Antler, Bookery Manchester, Lamont, Hanley, and Associates, Inc., Bank of America, Wells Fargo Advisors, and the Wright Family.
Attendees enjoyed a live auction with several unique items, including a ‘back-stage’ tour of CHaD, a plane ride and getaway to Nantucket, and a trip to New York City to see a live taping of the Late Show with Seth Meyers. More than 50 unique packages were also available through the traditional silent auction. Several attendees have new ornaments for their holiday decorating after purchasing special-edition baubles created by CHaD patients.
Before the ball festivities began, guests enjoy a delicious cocktail hour, sampling appetizers and goodies from Cabbonay, Mint Bistro, Hooked & Ignite, Hilton Garden Inn and Hanover Street Chophouse. An array of tasty desserts after the main meal were provided by A to Z Cakes.