Storybook Ball to Raise Funds for Brain Research

This year’s Storybook Ball, the annual megawatt fundraiser for MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC), will put the spotlight on advances being made every day at MGHfC to treat complex conditions that affect a child’s developing brain.

With more than 500 guests expected and a fundraising target of $1.7 million, the event will be held on Saturday, October 17, at The Castle at 130 Columbus Avenue, Boston. Since 2000, the Storybook Ball has raised more than $22 million for research initiatives and patient care programs at MGHfC.

“We’ve had tremendous support this year from Beacon Hill residents and businesses,” said Storybook Ball co-chair Rebecca Seidenberg. “There’s a real bond between the community and the hospital, and I think this year’s focus on brain disorders touches a lot of families.”

About 100 million Americans will suffer from a brain disorder at some point in their lives, according to the National Institutes of Health. MGHfC and Massachusetts General Hospital, which was recently named the number one hospital in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, offer specialized brain-based clinical programs and conduct neurological research aimed at helping children, adolescents and young adults.

At the 2015 Storybook Ball, a video presentation will feature 16-year-old Josh Canales of Lynn, Mass., who was born with spina bifida (a severe birth defect of the spinal cord that can result in cognitive and physical disabilities) and has received cutting-edge care at MGHfC since birth. Today, Josh is a forward on his high school soccer team.

“While still in his mom’s womb, Josh was diagnosed with spina bifida, which required surgery to close his spinal cord within 24 hours of his birth,” said Ronald E. Kleinman, MD, MGHfC physician-in-chief. “Recently, he underwent a brain procedure that was pioneered at MGH almost 100 years ago, but was so far ahead of its time, it couldn’t be performed until technology caught up with the idea.”

Every year the Storybook Ball takes its theme from a classic children’s tale. For 2015, longtime partner Rafanelli Events will transform The Castle into Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. During the evening, guests will bid on one-of-a-kind treasures in the form of live auction packages donated by local supporters and businesses.

The auction packages include runway seats for the Akris Paris fall fashion show in Paris; player spots at David Ortiz’s golf classic in Punta Cana; a home-hosted dinner presented by Bryan Rafanelli and the chef of the Four Seasons Hotel Boston; a trip to Italy to visit the pioneering celiac disease research lab of an MGH physician; a spa retreat in New Zealand; getaways at five Relais & Chateaux inns; and an expedition to Zambia, featuring Victoria Falls courtesy of Dorfman Jewelers.  For tickets and more information, visit storybookballboston.org.

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