Storybook Ball Recognizes Role of Massgeneral Hospital for Children in COVID-19 Crisis

As the COVID-19 crisis has brought unprecedented change to all of our lives, it has also brought significant transformation to the world of health care. With the 21st anniversary of the Storybook Ball—evolving this year to a virtual gala—the caregivers at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) are honored for the dramatic pivot they made to care for those impacted by this crisis. The online event, co-chaired by Andrea and Justin Rosen of Charlestown and Fiona and James Benenson III of Brookline, takes place on Saturday, October 17, 2020.

In the early spring, as COVID-19 swept through the city, MGHfC shifted its focus from pediatric care to adult and family-centered care, handling the scores of adults and children who were flooding hospitals across the region. For the entire staff, this sudden and unprecedented change brought many unique challenges. But what remained constant was the signature compassion and expertise that has defined MGHfC from day one.

“The entire MGHfC team has worked tirelessly to care for the many children and adults who tested positive for COVID-19,” said Allan Goldstein, MD, Surgeon-in-Chief, MGHfC.“While the months ahead will likely continue to test our strength, we know that there is nothing we cannot achieve. After what we have all been through, the MGHfC family is stronger than ever.”

 While attendees of this year’s Storybook Ball will not be gathering in a traditional ballroom setting, they’ll discover an equally enchanting experience online with an evening inspired by the classic children’s tale “Rainbow Fish.” With a story reading, magician, musical performance plus interactive online games and auction, the festive atmosphere for young and old will be felt in living rooms and kitchen tables across the area as attendees and families join others at their own virtual “table.”

“Storybook Ball has a rich history of celebrating the expertise and compassion that MGHfC brings to children and families,” said Andrea Rosen, who is co-chairing for her second year. “With this year’s transformation to a virtual gala, we move from the ballroom to the living room, engaging our attendees with that same energy and spirit that makes this such a significant event for the local community.”

 The evening will feature three powerful stories highlighting the diverse role that MGHfC played during the COVID-19 crisis. The first story relates to the journey of two parents, both severely stricken by the virus. With no one to care for their two children, MGHFC stepped in to house them on an inpatient floor. Research is the focus of the second story, showing how a team pivoted from Cystic Fibrosis research to create one of the most extensive pediatric COVID-19 biorepositories in the country. The third story reveals moments of incredible compassion, showing MGHfC staff members caring for COVID-19 patients during their darkest days. 

Rich Shertenlieb, co-host of 98.5 FM The Sports Hub, will serve as the event emcee.

This year’s auction packages that will benefit MGHfC include: a multi-course meal prepared by culinary queen Lydia Shire with an in-home dinner party for eight designed by Rafanelli Events; a virtual training session with Jay Larrañaga, lead assistant coach for the Boston Celtics, and other Celtics players; and the ultimate outdoor sleepover for kids prepared by The Slumber Squad.

PUMA, Blank Label, Rue La La, and Annette Well Co. are some of the local businesses lending their generous support this year.

Since 1999, Storybook Ball has raised over $31 million in support of the outstanding care and research at MGHfC. This year’s fundraising focus will provide MGHfC with funding for the areas needed most as it recovers from the COVID-19 surge.

To be part of this unprecedented virtual experience on October 17, visit storybookballboston.org.

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