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About Sickkids
About SickKids

July 13, 2010

Teens at SickKids spend “A Night in Wonderland”

Two years ago, a teenage girl made a wish to attend prom. She had missed hers while undergoing treatment at The Hospital for Sick Children.

Ellen Storfer and her family’s endowment fund, Turning Dreams into Memories, made this girl’s wish a reality. It’s a reality that has since become an annual tradition of a prom-like “After Hours Exclusive Teen Event,” which took place on July 8 at SickKids for the second year in a row. This year’s theme was, “A Night in Wonderland.”

For teens like Calandra Carkner, who have spent their evenings in a hospital room at SickKids, the “prom” provided something to look forward to and a distraction from their treatment.

“This event is just magical,” said Debra Carkner, mother of 17-year-old Calandra. “Even though she was going through treatment today, all her energy was focused on tonight. It’s amazing to have something that makes her feel like a teenager and makes her feel alive.”

To start off the memorable evening, teens enjoyed some pampering from hair stylists and makeup artists. They even got to choose from an array of funky accessories.

Once their looks were complete, patients headed to the prom-like event to enjoy a night of dancing, socializing and trying their luck at casino-style games. Joining the guests were a number of local celebrities, including John Ralston from Life of Derek, and Alyssa Reid and Jesse Labelle, singers on the MuchMusic SodaPop tour.

“I am truly overwhelmed by the experience,” says Ellen Storfer, whose family created the fund in memory of their spirited mother who lost her battle to cancer in 2005. “Meeting families like Debra and Calandra, who were so touched by this evening, made my family’s dream for the fund come to life.”

The goal of the fund, affectionately known as Dream Delivery, is to provide unique opportunities for chronic and long-term patients at SickKids. The “Night in Wonderland” was a testament to their vision.

The prom-like event was created in 2009 by the Child Life Department at SickKids, which aims to provide in-hospital experiences for children and teens through therapeutic play, encouraging self-expression, easing anxiety and enhancing coping strategies.

For more information on Dream Delivery or to make a donation, please click here.