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.”
Little Smiles was lucky enough to get to hang out on PGA property twice in February!
Little Smiles was chosen as the beneficiary for PGA Ladies Night Out on February 15. Ladies! What an amazing night of shopping, chocolate martinis, raffles and prizes at the PGA National Resort & Spa with our favorite lady Virginia Sinicki!
Then, we got to swing around with our friends at the Honda Classic! Did you know the Honda Classic supports Little Smiles and many other children’s charities? Funds from their Birdies for Children and grant programs make amazing things happen for local kids year round. We are so proud to partner with them for this incredible event!
We kicked off 2018 with cold beer and good cheer at our first Friend Raiser of the year on February 7. We had a blast hanging with our smilemakers at DAS Beer Garden in the Abacoa Town Center talking about what Little Smiles is up to. Get ready for a new year full of fun events!
On December 19, we spent an unbelievable evening with the patients and staff of the Paley Orthopedic and Spine Institute at St. Mary’s Medical Center experiencing the impact of the Little Smiles Toy Drive. Paley Institute patients and their families celebrated the holidays together with dinner, crafts and cookie decorating. Then Santa delivered more than 160 toys to patients and their siblings.
Check out WPTV’s Coverage of Paley Institute Party.
2017 marks the eighth year Little Smiles has collected new, unwrapped toys for local children in need as part of our Annual Holiday Toy Drive. Each year Little Smiles has a greater impact on the children in our community.
Thanks to overwhelming community support, we expect to collect more than 8,000 toys and gift cards this year, which we will distribute to children in need through local hospitals, shelters and other organizations.
We are collecting toys and donations at more than 300 drop-off locations, from St Lucie County through Palm Beach County. This year’s toy drive marks the largest participation in Little Smile’s history!
“The response this year has been incredible,” says Little Smiles President Chip Lubeck. “Our community has really stepped up to make sure we are getting gifts to as many of our local kids as we can. We are so grateful that our partners have given us this amazing platform to reach families who really need our help this holiday season.”
We are so grateful we get to team up with major community events such as the Feast of Little Italy, the Palm Beach Holiday Boat Parade, Wellington Winterfest and the Jingle Jog to raise awareness and collect as many toys and donations as possible.
Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County, the organization that produces the Palm Beach Holiday Boat Parade, has teamed up with Little Smiles, a local nonprofit organization, to make sure the money raised from the Boat Parade has a lasting impact on our community by providing toys to local children in need.
“The Palm Beach Holiday Boat Parade is a unique family event that brings our community together each year,” said Little Smiles President Chip Lubeck. “But the ripple effects of this event make the parade much more than a spectacle of lights, it’s a real life changer for so many kids this holiday season. We are proud to partner with Marine Industries Association for such an iconic tradition here in Palm Beach County. “
Thanks to donations from the Palm Beach Holiday Boat Parade, the Marine Industries Association has already provided more than $16,000 worth of toys and gift cards, and will collect donations until December 24. Little Smiles will distribute the much-needed goodies to children in local hospitals, shelters, other facilities and families in need through the holidays.
“We are extremely grateful for the overwhelming response from our community,” said Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County Operations Director Alyssa Freeman. “We received a record-breaking amount of toys and donations this year. We look forward to partnering with Little Smiles to continue to make the Palm Beach Holiday Boat Parade a beacon of service in our community.”