Hasbro Children’s Hospital Gala Event Summary!

{mosimage}This past weekend I was gifted with the opportunity, thanks to the generous donations from the members of the Transformers Community organized by the Allspark and TFWiki, to attend Hasbro Children's Hospital Charity Gala Event in Providence, Rhode Island, at the Providence Rhode Island Convention Center. This event was held on March the 6th of 2010. This event was held to raise funds for Hasbro Children's Hospital and the very special children and their families that are currently being treated there. I had the pleasure of being joined by my girlfriend Jen, fellow Allspark member Skunkobot, and his friend Steph.

Click here to discuss the charity and event and here for a list of contributors.

  This year's Gala event theme was 'In It For Life' to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Game of Life. The decor and displays throughout the Gala area followed this theme.

People Pegs directed and greeted us as we entered the main hall area for the Gala. The People Pegs were two couples, both identical, representing the game pieces in the Game of Life. The man was dressed in baby blue with a suite and a top hat, while the woman was in pink with a dress and plastic hair. Both wore spandex masks to cover their faces and glasses. The People Pegs would constantly wave, and shuffle about genuinely entertaining (in one way or another) the guests of the event. At times they could be seen pushing a child sized play car throughout the convention center

The evening began with mingling outside the Dining Hall (which attendees of Botcon 2007 will recognize as that convention's Dealer Room) with some delicious Hors d'Oeuvres and drinks. The function was black tie, so everyone was dressed classy and elegant – with most of the guests being among Rhode Island's high society.

Each couple attending was given a game card where they could spin a wheel to try and land on the section containing the word LIFE. Landing on the word LIFE allowed the participant to donate a copy of the Game of Life to a child at the Hasbro Children's Hospital. There were four of these wheel stations, and each station would also give you a game piece in order to spell out 'LIFE' that would be used in order to enter a contest towards the end of the evening.

 Afterwards we made our way into the main Dining Hall (not before getting our picture taken by a professional photographer at the event). The Game of Life theme continued with in the building, as all the lights and table settings were the Game of Life themed. Skunkobot, myself, and our dates found our way to our table in which we were seated with two other couples. Upon our tables were Caesar Salads for each of us and an assortment of salad condiments. Meanwhile servers walked throughout the dining area serving complimentary white and red wine.

Karen Adams, the host of the event and a news anchor on Eyewitness News WPRI 12 in Providence, opened the event. Lil' Phunk, a dance group of very talented children, opened up with a very well choreographed dance routine that would be impressive at any age never mind at children of their age. We also heard from Timothy Babineau and Thomas Tracy Jr of the Hasbro Children's Hospital. In one of the most heart warming stories I've ever seen, we watched the first 'In It For Life' video regarding the Morgantini Family and their son's struggle to be healthy. There son has had several kidney transplants, and is on his way to living a normal life thanks to the Hasbro Children Hospital. He was presented with a gift basket of toys from Hasbro.

After the video Livingston Taylor performed 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow', with a promise he'd be back later in the evening to perform more songs. Soon after was the Live Auction and Giving Opportunity where about 20 items and services were auctioned off by the extremely fast speaking Paul Zekos of the Zekos Group. Some of the most notable items for auction were sports tickets, internships, and various trips. One that caught my attention the most was an auction to have the winner's child appear on a Hasbro packaging and have a walk on role in a Hasbro commercial. There was then a special donating session (or Giving Opportunity) where patrons were asked to donate either $500, $1000, or $2500 towards the funding of sleeper chairs in each of the 87 hospital rooms at Hasbro's Children's Hospital. It was amazing to see the generosity of so many people more fortunate than most donate thousands and thousands of dollars to this great cause. Needless to say they were able to raise enough money to equip all 87 rooms!
We were then treated to dinner, sliced roasted tenderloin of beef with sides. Night Moves entertained us with some covers of popular music during the dinner, prompting some guests to gather on the dance floor. At the beginning of the event guests were offered to purchase a gift bag for a chance to win an 18K white gold pendant. Peter Englehart, Group Director of Tiffany & Co and Karen Adams selected the winner during our dinner session. From there we had more words from Timothy Babineau of Hasbro Children's Hospital, and then we heard from Maureen and Dolph Johnson who were the event Chairs.



After dinner, Brian Goldner, President and CEO of Hasbro, spoke and then introduced Reuben Klamer, the inventor of the Game of Life. Brian went on to discuss the close relationship between Hasbro and the Hasbro Children's Hospital. In an unexpected announcement Brian announced that Hasbro was donating 1 million dollars to the hospital to add state of the art in room entertainment and education system in each patient room of the hospital. He further stated that Hasbro would pay for the operating costs of these systems for the next 5 years. Robert Klein of the Hasbro Children's Hospital spoke next, and he was amazed and inspired at Hasbro's generosity.

Afterwards we had our second 'In It For Life' video featuring Lois Brown, a Registered Nurse at Hasbro Children's Hospital, who has worked there since the hospital's opening and is now helping her niece, a patient at the hospital, through her cancer treatment. Lois's niece was also presented with a gift basket of toys from Hasbro.

Livingston Taylor treated us with several more of his songs. He's a great entertainer, and continued the very upbeat atmosphere of the night with his delightful songs. Following Livingston's performance, Night Moves performed again which prompted myself, my girlfriend, Skunkobot and his date to get on the dance floor and boogy the night away.

All in all it was a spectacular event for an even greater cause and I feel very privileged to have been able to attend due to the generosity of the folks at the Allspark and TFWiki. I would like to thank each and every person who participated in this event in some form or fashion, and the generosity of the members of our Transformers community and those that attended the Gala event.

Randy 'Powered Convoy' Para

Photo Gallery of Highlights from Hasbro Children's Hospital Charity Gala Event.