With decor reminiscent of a trip to the Northwoods of Wisconsin, Venue One was transformed May 19 into a grown-up version of summer camp complete with signs pointing the way to cabins and the lake for the fifth annual Campfire Ball. More than 700 people came out to support the event benefiting Children's Oncology Services' One Step at a Time program. This year-round program for kids with cancer offers camp experiences and educational opportunities with more than 350 volunteer counselors and a fully staffed medical team on hand.
Even the food was camp-inspired, with gourmet twists on grilled cheese sandwiches and hot dogs from Cork Catering, smoked pork sandwiches from Theory, honey/bacon/jalapeno popcorn courtesy of Bridgehouse Tavern and s'more cupcakes by Sprinkles. Patrons enjoyed spiked "bug" juice served out of Mason jars as they perused the silent auction. The Digital Photobooth projected images from attendees on the walls throughout the night as DJ Matt Roan kept the dance floor filled.
Local celebrities like Lauren Jiggetts, Jerry Azumah, board member Dan Bernstein and Ed Swiderski ("The Bachelorette" Season 5 winner) guest bartended.
Co-chairs Rachel Drescher, Jordi Izsak and Michelle Weiler quieted the crowd for 9-year-old Maggie Conlon. At 5 weeks old, she was diagnosed with cancer. She has been "off treatment" for nearly eight years. "I loved camp so much that my counselors called my parents to ask if I could stay an extra week. I'm already counting down to my next visit," she said.
More than $100,000 was raised to benefit the One Step at a Time program.
Freelance writer Candace Jordan is involved with many local organizations, including some whose events she covers.