LAYTON, Utah – Princes and princesses across the valley dressed in their finest clothes for the HopeKids Royal Ball, and they were able to set their worries aside for one night as they danced and enjoyed themselves.
More than 300 children with life-threatening illnesses wore their best attire for the event, which was held at The Castle Reception Center in Layton.
HopeKids is a non-profit organization that works on the idea that children with life-threatening illnesses need hope to keep on going.
Parent Stephanie Leonard said it was a wonderful evening.
"To have a night out where we don’t have to think about our medical problems with our daughter or anything—we can just come and have fun and enjoy the time together,” she said.
Amy Oldham, executive director for HopeKids Utah, said the evening is a chance for children to feel like royalty.
"It is an activity for our HopeKids families to come and enjoy an evening of dining, dancing, meeting princesses and princes,” she said.
Oldham said the event is a much-needed break from the often harsh realities of life for many of the children.
"It is pretty special for these kids to be able to get to do something that they wouldn't normally do in the middle of a time in their life that things are not normal for them,” she said. “It isn't normal for someone to have to spend days and days in the hospital, or getting treatment, or having doctors' appointments constantly—so this is just a break from their routine that is much more normal for the average kid who doesn't have to struggle with life threatening conditions.”
The children who attended enjoyed a royal banquet, had their hair make up done, had their faces painted and participated in other activities.
HopeKids events are free for families. Their next fundraising event is the Golf Invitational on August 26.
For more information, visit HopeKids’ website.