The Childhood Cancer Blog

How to Attend a Virtual Gala

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By: Chloe Adkins

Each year my family goes to the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) Lemon Ball. We go because we want to support ALSF and my sister Lily had an ependymoma, a type of brain tumor, when she was 14 months old. I look forward to going every year because I like dressing up and seeing all the people who are our friends from Alex’s Lemonade. My sister, my brother and I get Shirley Temples, look at the silent auction and eat some of the appetizers. 

Then, we take an escalator (it is really funny to watch all the people in their high heels going up the escalator) up to the ballroom. In the ballroom, there is always a fountain of wishes and big balloons. We sit down and sometimes we get to meet a new childhood cancer family at our table. Then we listen to Alex’s parents talk and we eat dinner. And then, it’s time for the dancing.

I think the dancing is my favorite part (except for the Shirley Temples). Oh, and there are usually amazing desserts, too. Then the night ends and we get to go up to the candy bar, which might also be my favorite thing. After the candy bar, we get a swag bag and that is full of really neat, cool and yummy stuff. 

It is the best night. 

But this year, because of COVID-19, everything is different, so the Lemon Ball will be virtual. I am still really excited, and I have big plans to attend my first virtual gala at home! 

Here’s how to attend a virtual gala:

1.    Make sure to RSVP.
You can register for The Lemon Ball for free here. And you can even purchase a gift box! 

2.    Still dress the part.
I’ll probably wear the dress I wore last year, which is my favorite dress! The good thing about being home for a virtual gala is that you don’t have to wear high heels, but you can still dress in your best dress or your most cozy jammies! 

3.    Decorate for the party.
Decorate with yellow balloons or flowers. (There is even a floral arrangement guide you can download!) You can hang up Christmas lights. You could decorate with your lemonade stand stuff. You could even use yellow and white fabric or plastic tablecloths to make a fun canopy or tent. 

4.    Have your camera on, chat and participate. 
At past Lemon Balls, it was fun to run around with other kids and make new friends. You can still run around and make new friends, as long as you are participating! You can chat or have your camera on for Zoom! You could even plan a video chat with old friends before hand so you can experience the whole night together! 

5.    Make Shirley Temples (or whatever drink you like).
I think having a special drink is fancy! You can make Shirley Temples (which is Sprite and some sort of cherry sauce, I think, and a cherry) or a grown up drink, or of course, lemonade! 

6.    Have good food. 
At my house, we will have appetizers all night. You can make anything you want or order food Or you could make something from the Alex’s Table Cookbook

7.    Plan for a dance party.
The Lemon Ball will have some great entertainment, so make sure to have a spot to dance. If you want to keep dancing, just put on your favorite music or stick around for the after party with BVTLive! 

8.    Take lots of selfies.
Make sure to take selfies for Instagram (tag @AlexsLemonade!) and spread the cheer! There is also a virtual photo booth this year that has fun custom backgrounds! 

9.    Have a candy buffet.
Get lots of lemon candy and mason jars (or glasses) and make your own candy buffet to end the night. 

10.    Donate!
After you hear all the stories from childhood cancer families and ALSF supporters and learn more about Alex, you can use your inspiration (and your wallet) to make a donation to ALSF and help more kids, like my sister. 

Chloe Adkins is a SuperSib, along with her brother Nicholas. Their older sister Lily is an ependymoma survivor. Chloe is 11 years old and a 6th grader. When she isn’t planning for the virtual gala, you can find Chloe planning lemonade stands, running cross country, tap dancing or playing field hockey.

Join ALSF for the most inspiring night of the year at the 15th annual Lemon Ball!

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