Night of Magic Ball Gives Young Patients and Families the Chance to Make Memories, Spend an Evening Away From Stress of Hospitalization
Northwest Federal Credit Union Foundation hosts event at Inova Children’s Hospital
HERNDON, VA (June 18, 2013) This past April, more than 100 patients and family members receiving care at Inova Children’s Hospital in Falls Church, Va., attended the Night of Magic Ball – an event that offers chronically ill patients and their families an evening away from the stresses of being in the hospital.
The Night of Magic is one of many outreach events sponsored by Northwest Federal Credit Union Foundation, the charitable arm of Northwest Federal Credit Union. More than 117,000 members belong to the Herndon-based Credit Union, which ranks as one of the top 100 credit unions in the country.
The event started in 2009 as a way to bring prom night to teenagers who were hospitalized and unable to attend their high school dances. Today, the Night of Magic Ball is an annual event, much anticipated by patients of all ages, as well as their families and friends.
“The night is an opportunity to see my son Tony have a wonderful party experience in a safe environment,” said Linda Valenti, Tony’s mother. They have attended three Night of Magic events over the past years. “Due to Tony’s disabilities, he will never have the nights out at the teenage ‘clubs.’ But this event lets him experience something very close to it. Seeing him dancing with girls, singing and having a great time, it brings a smile to my face.”
The special night was coordinated with the help of 51 volunteers and many generous donors from the surrounding communities (see Sidebar).
Festivities began with young patients selecting party attire from an assortment of new dresses and suits, which were theirs to keep. Event organizers also collected donations of formal wear, accessories and shoes for use by other family members and friends. And everyone had access to hair stylists and make-up artists prior to the event.
The Ball featured a DJ providing musical entertainment, and dance professionals leading attendees in the latest moves and line dances. Volunteers also worked a craft area and a video game tournament for guests, as well as providing lots of food and beverages. As the evening ended, patients were able to select a special gift – a Kindle, iPod, doll set or Mobigo reading system – and all attendees received goodie bags.
“Through the efforts and support of many people, we are working to make a difference in our community,” said Chris McDonald, President/CEO of Northwest Federal Credit Union. ““This was an extraordinary night and one of the most memorable events sponsored by our Foundation. I know that everyone in attendance – the young patients, their families, the volunteers and our donors – will long remember this evening.”
Parent Tami Luddy, whose daughter Eliza has attended the Ball for the past two years, agrees.
“This Ball is the one time a year for us to celebrate life as a family,” said Luddy. “Surrounded by families and children with similar difficult struggles, this is the night we get together to dance, laugh and enjoy just how far we’ve all come through our journeys. My family is so grateful to NWFCU Foundation for showing our daughter how to enjoy life despite her trials.”
Those wanting to learn more or get involved with the 2014 Night of Magic ball may contact Linda Rogus, Executive Director, NWFCU Foundation, at (703) 925-5092.
About Northwest Federal Credit Union Foundatione
The Foundation was established in 2004 to promote and manage Northwest Federal Credit Union’s philanthropic activities including scholarship, financial education and other charitable programs, which reflect the interests of the Credit Union’s membership and the communities it serves. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. Donations are tax deductible to the extent permissible by law for those who itemize deductions. For more information, visit www.nwfcufoundation.org.