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CHUCK BENNETT

Society: KIDSgala White Party raises $100,000

When a late-arriving guest opened the doors to the ballroom at The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham on Friday night, for a moment, she said she thought she had died and gone to heaven or at least walked in on a scene from one of the “Oh God” movies.

Over 200 people dressed in white were partying in this grand ballroom that was spectacularly decorated in all white and adorned with various forms of crystals and flowers. Turns out she had safely arrived at her destination, the third annual KIDSgala White Party.

With over 40 silent auction items, 10 live auction items, corporate sponsorships and support from the party guests who each paid $150, more than $100,000 was raised at this year’s gala. Peter and Danialle Karmanos served as honorary chairs, and WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) personality Erin Nicole served as mistress of ceremonies. The evening included a casual fare served buffet style — beef sliders, chicken chili and a mashed potato bar. There was also a DJ and an open bar.

“The support from our guests, sponsors and community was overwhelming and is appreciated by the board of directors and officers, but most of all, the children we are able to celebrate,” said David C. McKnight, who founded KIDSgala in memory of Nicole Marie Burton, the daughter of his high school friend Shelly. Nicole passed away from leukemia in 2013.

KIDSgala provides celebrations for children who have or are battling a life-altering event. It is dedicated to bringing joy to these children and their families in a creative and unique way tailored to their specific needs.

KIDSgala vice president and event chair Carrie Slominski was presented an award for her tireless work and support of the foundation.

Chuck Bennett is the creator of TheSocialMetro.com and is the Style Ambassador of Fox 2 News.