Portland, OR. It was high-fives all around as Children’s Cancer Association (CCA) raised $1.4 million at its 17th annual Wonderball gala on October 7th. Leaders Rosemary Colliver, founder Regina Ellis and Andy Lytle celebrated the donations which will fuel CCA’s mission of prescribing joy to seriously ill children and their families. Organizers welcomed nearly 850 supporters to the Oregon Convention Center for an “Age of Aquarius” themed night they say was inspired by the abundant love and optimism of the Woodstock era.

Singer-songwriter, Kyle Craft, sings Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are A-Changin’ and is joined onstage by CCA-served kids and teens.

Regina Ellis, CCA Founder & Chief Joy Officer, stops to thank raffle ticket sellers, Moxie and Aven.

Albert Menashe, CCA Board Member, Attorney & Shareholder at Gevurtz Menashe; Julie Menashe; Grant Feltz, Wieden+Kennedy; John Christianson, Estate Planning Attorney at Gevurtz Menashe

Andrea Corradini, CCA Board Member, Senior Director, Women’s NSW Footwear at Nike; Regina Ellis, CCA Founder & Chief Joy Officer

Party guests included Sandy Bodecker, VP Special Projects, Nike Inc.; Tanya Cerda; Cholee Thompson, Ryan Artists; David Brown, longtime CCA Chemo Pal; and their friends.

Andy Lytle, CCA Board Chair, Division VP – Western US at Jackson Family Wines; Jim Haven, Creative Director; Jessi Duley, CCA Board Member, Founder & Instructor at Burn Cycle; Mary Lytle

Keynote speakers, Andy and Ruth Soria Zuniga, share their family’s story with Wonderball guests.

Chris Funk, CCA Board Member and multi-instrumentalist with The Decemberists, starts the show with a guitar solo guests call, thrilling.

Party guests included Clare Hamill, CCA Founding Board Chair, Vice President, Nike Growth Initiatives at Nike; Heidi O’Neill, President, Direct to Consumer, Nike Inc.; Patrick O’Neill; Marcus Harvey, Owner, Portland Gear; Sarah Marshall, MyMusicRx ATX Champion; and their friends.

Paul Gulick, CCA Board Chair Emeritus, 2008-10, and his table guests

Lead Sponsor PDX Property Group filled the table with guests that included John Powers, CCA Ambassador Board Co-Chair, Broker of PDX Property Group at Keller Williams Realty and Chris Suarez, Principal Broker, CEO of PDX Property Group of Keller Williams.

Presenting Sponsor, Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield’s table, which included Scott Burton, Director, Revenue Management & Portfolio Positioning, Cambia Solutions; Angela Dowling, President, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, and Chief Sales Officer; and their guests.

Jeff Nyburg, Regional Director at Carter’s | OshKosh B’gosh; CS Sheffield, CCA Ambassador Board Co-Chair, Senior Therapeutic Specialty Consultant, Pfizer Oncology; Jennifer Nyburg; Angela Sheffield.

CCA staff members welcome guests at registration amid tapestries and Wonderball branded prayer flags.

Macie House, CCA Board Member, Managing Director, Baird, Regina Ellis, CCA Founder & Chief Joy Officer; Suzann Baricevic Murphy, CCA Board Member, Owner/President at (W)here Inc.

Steve Blake, CCA Board Member and former NBA Player; Regina Ellis, CCA Founder & Chief Joy Officer; Kristen Blake, Health & Wellness Coach

Serene Perkins,(center) CCA Board Member, Director of Surgical and Clinical Research, Legacy Research Institute Legacy Health, Regina Ellis, CCA Founder & Chief Joy Officer

Served by CCA as a teen and now a pre-med student at PSU, Sarah Florig shared her emotional story with Wonderball guests.

Guests enjoyed silent and live auctions, a seated dinner, inspiring family speakers and live, Woodstock era music throughout the night. Portland jam band frontman Lewi Longmire’s LT Red and the Hazy Visions kicked off the live performances, which included a rendition of Jimi Hendrix’s “Star-Spangled Banner” performed by Chris Funk of The Decemberists. Other performers included Brandon Nicolai and New York-based cabaret singer Amber Martin.

Décor included Indian tapestries, marigold garlands, and buttons and prayer flags with the reimagined protest slogan “Cancer is not Healthy for Children and Other Living Things”. A Moroccan menu and Summer of Love themed drinks were served to complete the aesthetic. Late night revelers also enjoyed an after-party with DJ Anjali at Spirit of 77.

A record-breaking paddle raise was led by auctioneer Kelly Russell of Artisan Auctions following Regina Ellis’ keynote speech and PSU pre-med student, Sarah Florig’s, inspiring story. CCA-served family, Ruth and Andy Soria Zuniga, also shared the many ways CCA has supported their family during their 2-year-old daughter’s treatment.

“At CCA, we are JOY seekers. For the last 22 years, we have asked ourselves repeatedly: what can JOY do?” said Regina Ellis, Founder and Chief Joy Officer of Children’s Cancer Association in her address. “We are the only organization working to position JOY as best practice in pediatric hospitals across the nation by delivering innovative programs that transform a moment with music, friendship and nature. Because of the generosity in this room, last year we served 31 percent more children and teens, how, when and where they preferred, and delivered over 92,000 service interactions across the United States.”

This event was made possible by the presenting sponsor, Regence BlueCross Blue Shield of Oregon. Additional sponsors included PDX Property Group and Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel.

About Children’s Cancer Association (CCA)

The Children’s Cancer Association knows that for seriously ill children and their families every moment is precious. That’s why our programs leverage music, friendship, play, and resources to create transformative moments of joy for 20,000 children, teens, and their family members each year. We believe kids deserve long, wonderful lives. Or at the very least, short wonderful lives. Unlike many organizations dedicated to the worthy goal of someday finding a cure for cancer, CCA is all about creating joy today. See our programs in action at JoyRx.org.

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