Portland, OR. The Children’s Cancer Association (CCA) raised $1.2 million at its 18th annual Wonderball gala on September 29th to fuel its mission of prescribing joy to seriously ill children and their families. CCA welcomed more than 800 supporters to the Oregon Convention Center for a night inspired by the healing power of the great outdoors and the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. It was a theme embraced by CCA Founder Regina Ellis; Jessi Duley, Founder, BurnCycle; Amy Montagne, VP/GM Global Categories, Nike; Andrea Corradini, Women’s Global Senior Footwear Product Director, Nike; May Shelstad, VP/GMM Global Merchandising, Nike.
“Upon founding CCA, we knew first-hand that kids needed more than medicine, so we set out to change the conversation in pediatric healthcare at a time when no one else was talking about joy in the same breath as cancer,” said Regina Ellis, Founder and Chief Joy Officer of Children’s Cancer Association during her keynote speech. “Reflecting on the past 23 years, CCA’s trailblazing programs have leveraged music, friendship, and nature to transform moments of pain, isolation and fear in children and teens with serious illness. We are the only organization of our kind positioning joy as best practice in children’s hospitals across the nation.”
A record-breaking paddle raise was led by Kelly Russell of Artisan Auctions following inspiring addresses from Jesuit High School senior, Lilly Webb, a member of CCA’s Young Adult Alliance; and CCA parent, Will Carey, who shared the powerful ways CCA continues to support his family, even after the loss of his son Jack fourteen years ago.
Wonderball event décor featured full campsite stage and lobby sets generously provided by REI and Cabela’s respectively. Other highlights included dramatic sunrise, sunset, and night sky lighting; real Douglas Fir trees and greenery; live chainsaw art; and Sasquatch himself, complementing camping themed cocktail and dinner menus including S’mores White Russians.
Guests enjoyed live music throughout the night with performances from Out West, Lenore, and a host of Portland “troubadour” musicians who played tableside during the dinner hour before the formal program began with a dramatic traditional dance from Painted Sky Northstar Dance Company. The evening ended with a sing-a-long rendition of “Country Roads, Take Me Home” followed by an after-party for late night revelers with DJ Rev Shines at Spirit of 77.
CCA’s Wonderball was made possible by the Presenting sponsor, Regence BlueCross Blue Shield of Oregon. Additional sponsors included PDX Property Group as Lead sponsor and Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel as Celebration sponsor
You can get involved by donating to Children’s Cancer Association at JoyRx.org/donate.