MassGeneral Hospital for Children raises $2 million at Storybook Ball

BOSTON — More than 500 guests came together at The Castle in Park Square as the MassGeneral Hospital for Children traveled “to infinity and beyond” and raised more than $2 million on October 19, celebrating its 20th year of supporting pediatric health via its premier event, Storybook Ball!

Jennifer and Mark Dolins of Chestnut Hill and Andrea and Justin Rosen of Charlestown co-chaired the “Toy Story”-themed event, which focused on gastrointestinal health and disease in children. The Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition programs at MGHfC provide multidisciplinary care and expertise in gastrointestinal, liver, pancreatic, nutritional and feeding disorders in infants, children, and adolescents.

The black-tie garbed attendees enjoyed dinner, dancing with DJ Chris Roxx, and carnival games like Operation and Bean Bag Toss, taking home prizes from local sponsors like Boston Symphony Orchestra, North River Outfitter, and PUMA.

Event planner Rafanelli Events channeled Woody, Buzz and Andy’s gang to bring “Toy Story” to life, complete with classic arcade games at Pizza Planet and Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head-themed snacks. Bostonians of note on the guest list included former Governor Deval Patrick, Herb Chambers, Chef Tiffani Faison, Jay and Christy Cashman, and more than a dozen co-chairs from previous years, including Jennifer Nassour, Rebecca Seidenberg, and Simone Winston. All turned out to raise a glass to the two decades of this incredible event.

Co-Chairs Jennifer Dolins and Andrea Rosen kicked off the speaking program with a heartfelt welcome. Peter L. Slavin, MD, president, Massachusetts General Hospital, walked guests through the incredible advancements at the hospital over the past two decades thanks to the almost $30 million Storybook Ball has raised. Ronald E. Kleinman, MD, Physician-in-Chief, MGHfC, introduced a 20-Year in Review video, featuring now-and-then patient stories, and Allan M. Goldstein, MD, Surgeon-in-Chief, MGHfC, led a live appeal.

This year’s featured patient, Liam Doherty (11), was on-hand with his family to share his story. Liam, who has been receiving treatment at the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Center at MGHfC since he was diagnosed at six with Crohn’s Disease, ranks his doctor, Pediatric Gastroenterologist Jess L. Kaplan, MD, as one of the most important people in his life. A boy with inspiring resilience and a positive attitude, Liam has raised over $40,000 in three years via a neighborhood lemonade stand to help find a cure for Crohn’s, truly making lemonade out of lemons.

“There really is no preparation for somebody telling you that your child has a disease without a cure,” said Liam’s mother, Lauren Doherty, in the patient video. “But since day one I’ve really loved the level of care and attention that Liam was given at MassGeneral Hospital for Children.”

After dinner, an animated live auction kicked off with comedian and actor Lenny Clarke, sports radio talk show host Rich Shertenlieb, and auctioneer Stanley Paine. Some of the highlights included a memorable dinner party prepared by Chef Tiffani Faison and Rafanelli Events; an adventurous trip to Ireland with skeet shooting, archery, and high tea; and a five-night Las Vegas experience, complete with a meet-and-greet with the band Aerosmith after their Deuces Are Wild show.

Proceeds from Storybook Ball over the past two decades have allowed MGHfC to provide extraordinary care to patients and their families; to recruit and support the best physicians, surgeons and researchers; and to speed the development of new technologies and cutting-edge research that can transform clinical approaches locally and globally.

All photos by Bill Brett

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