May 4th, 2019. That was the day that months of hard work, planning and a ton of favors culminated into the first ever Patient Prom for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. And boy was it memorable!
We loaded in the day before and began transforming the hospital’s daily meeting rooms into a Hollywood-themed “Night with the Stars.” Throughout the evening, several hospital staff stopped in to see what all the buzz was about. There was an excitement in the air and it was palatable. The kids were eager for Saturday night to get there, and we were all looking forward to this experience for them. One lovely nurse came in multiple times to thank me and my team for putting this all together; she just couldn’t believe what we were doing. I didn’t realize until that moment, just how many people (and how deeply) this special evening would impact, including me.
Converting a sterile hospital meeting room into a red-carpet Hollywood event is by no means an easy fete. But when you’ve got fantastic partners working with you to make it all happen, it sure is fun. And you know we’re all about the fun.
Setting the tone for the evening, Red Carpet Systems (one of our favorite and longest running partners) provided the grand red carpet entrance our patients would enter through. Adorned with red rope and stanchion and a life-size award statue provided by Absolutely Fabulous Events, we spent most of our time trying to keep people off of this dazzling entrance! Once inside, the pre-function space featured a 36’ version of the famous “Hollywood” sign as the focal point. Quite an impression if you ask us!
Now it’s 5pm Saturday evening and doors are open! Just like a normal prom, parents were not invited. Lol. After dropping their children off at the top of the red carpet, adults hung out in our charming parent’s lounge where they enjoyed snacks, beverages and delicious treats provided by Richard Kensington, owner of Kensington Caterers. One of the kindest men with the biggest hearts in the biz. Especially when it comes to kids!
The first two hours teens spent getting glammed by some of CHLA’s fabulous supporters:
Hair and make-up: Glam Squad, Nars, Bellami and Flower Beauty
Manicures: Glam Squad, Olive & June and Essie
Prom Attire: Jessica Simpson, Harvard Westlake School, The A List and Shoshanna
Jewelry & Accessories: The Mobile Color Bar - Kendra Scott
Once they were done getting primped and primed, they enjoyed a variety of activities until it was time for dinner and dancing:
Custom “Word” Bracelets and Roaming Photographer: Fun 4 Events
Oversized games: Absolutely Fabulous Events
Strolling Magician: The Art of Magic
7pm: Doors opened to the ballroom and our fabulous emcee got the party started. Thanks to The One Up Group for bringing the energy: fun lighting, great sound system, and the best Emcee in town! And this is LA people, there are a LOT of emcees 😊 Crateful Catering prepared delicious bites and beverages with all food allergies and restrictions in mind. Crateful’s Co-Founder, Emanuele Ponzu, went above and beyond with this event. Definitely a Yes man! He was even caught cutting a rug on the dance floor with some very excited kids. So thankful to have partners that are willing to give back and go the extra mile no matter who the client or what the circumstance!
There are so many other partners that helped us transform the space into an unforgettable “Night with the Stars”:
Absolutely Fabulous Events: Dance floor and award statue centerpieces that accented each table
BBJ Linen: Beautiful floor-length table linens and gold satin napkins that elevated the space in a big way
Collective Rentals: Exquisite gold chairs completing the Hollywood look of the dinner tables. Special TY to Lauren Montgomery, Collective’s Founder and Creative Director, for sticking with me from the beginning. This supremely talented (and ridiculously good looking) woman said “Yes!” when I asked her to help me launch my company, and AGAIN when I reached out about this special event. #GRATEFUL
Red Carpet Systems: Stage to get the party started and keep it going when celeb guests like ASAP Rocky showed up!
Studio RFD: Decor and pergolas that were huge in the transformation of the vibe in the room
But let’s be honest, it was definitely the true Hollywood stars that excited these kids the most. These five generous celebs got ready with the kids, ate with them, and then DANCED their tushies off alongside them. I know the CHLA team agrees, we are so thankful for their participation and big hearts!
Last but certainly not least, the CHLA Child Life and Hollywood Cares for Kids teams. We worked hand in hand to bring our vision for this magnificent evening to a reality, and I'm so honored to have been part of this amazing group of WOMEN :). Special shouts out to Samantha Lamb, Amanda Brown and Lyndsay Hutchison for leading this team with such ease and grace, even when it wasn't either of those things. I can't wait to see what we come up with for next year!