PHOTOS BY KRISTEN STEPHENS PHOTOGRAPHY
The 13th Annual Little Smiles Stars Ball took place Saturday, February 24 at 6 p.m. at the Harriet Himmel Theater in CityPlace, Downtown West Palm Beach.
Each year, nurses who work with Little Smiles nominate children with life-threatening illnesses to receive special recognition at the Stars Ball. The “stars” are chosen for their extraordinary bravery, character and talent. They are treated like celebrities for the day, complete with makeovers, gowns, tuxedos and complete red-carpet treatment.
The annual event is modeled after a Hollywood awards ceremony with award distribution, dinner, dancing, silent auction and more. Kevin, Virginia and Jason from WRMF’s The KVJ Show hosted the event. “America’s Got Talent” contender Sal Valentinetti was also there for a special performance. At least 300 people attended the event, and hundreds more lined the streets of CityPlace to watch the “stars” walk down the red carpet flocked by paparazzi.
“This is not your typical charity dinner,” says Little Smiles President Chip Lubeck. “The Stars Ball is all about giving these kids a night they will remember forever – a big production to let them know how very special they are. Guests are fortunate participants who get to a play a role in an extraordinary moment in these children’s lives.”
Thanks to the kindness of local businesses and individuals, funds raised during the Stars Ball will benefit thousands of South Florida children facing devastating circumstances including terminal illness, abandonment and other trauma.
This year, Florida Public Utilities signed on as the presenting sponsor. President and CEO of Convergence Technologies, Inc. Marc Kruer and his wife, Beth, served as honorary chairs for the event.
“We are incredibly grateful for our Little Smiles supporters,” Lubeck says. “Our mission truly comes to life at the Stars Ball. These kids, who have been through so much, forget about everything for a while and light up in the moment.”