Mansion  Memories sends children in crisis “Off to Neverland”

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IECN photo courtesy Holli Zenko: Mansion Memories hosted its annual Magical Days at the Burrage Mansion in Redlands on Saturday, Mar. 24 to children and families in crisis. The theme this year was Peter Pan’s “Off to Neverland,” offering a day where families could escape, for a moment, from the heartbreak of cancer. Pictured is the Peter Pan cast with the Moore family, children Brynne, 9, Kendall, 6, Wyatt, 4, and Devon, 11. Mom is Julie, dad’s name unavailable.
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On Saturday, Mar. 24 Mansion Memories hosted a new season of Magical Days at the Burrage Mansion. The theme for this year is Peter Pan’s “Off To Neverland”. These events allow children in crisis and their families a chance to enjoy a day of fun, away from the overwhelming concerns of their situations.

IECN photo courtesy Deborah Seibly:  Haley Ahlers enjoying a delicious, and very blue, cupcake.

The 160 guests are children in crisis and their families were nominated from the following partners: Childhood Cancer Foundation of S. Cal, Kids Connection, Micah House, Children’s Fund, Steps 4 Life, Building a Generation, Youth Hope, Redlands Unified School District, Playworks Center for Development and Learning INC, Thrive Single Moms, Ronald McDonald House, Santa Claus Inc. and the community.

The Peter Pan cast was led by Mansion Memories Entertainment Directors Emilie Helvey and Emily Prince. Guests began in Darling’s nursery, where they visited with some familiar characters – Wendy (Katriona Kennedy), Peter Pan (Logan Watts) and his faithful sidekick, Tink (Madi Adrian).

Guests “flew” to Neverland, visited the Lost Boy’s camp, enjoyed story time, and eventually got captured by Hook (Jordan Crother) and Smee (Kyle Sirowy) and their band of pirates (Peter Milligan and Danny White). On Hook’s ship, guests were put through obstacles and were made honorary pirates for the day. Peter Pan resecued the captured guests from Hook, and the guests happily flew home!

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While our Board President was chatting with one of our many volunteers, she asked the volunteer what the best part of Magical Day is. She was surprised to hear the volunteer say, “The parents.”

The volunteer went on to share that a father had paused from watching his child and quietly stated, “This is the only place where we can forget about the cancer.”

“Off to Neverland” was made possible by 53 generous donors and 75 + volunteers from our community and the following organizations: University of Redlands, National Charity League, Micah House Teens, Vietnam Vets/Military Families from Redlands and Solid Ground Church.

Mansion Memories is a nonprofit and holds creative fundraisers that help support Magical Day events. The main fundraiser for 2018 is Swing Time at the Speakeasy. It will be held on Saturday, May 12. Adult guests will enjoy live Big Band entertainment as they swing dance their way back to the 1940’s at The Speakeasy on State.

Fundraisers like this have facilitated Mansion Memories to provide magical life-long memories at no cost to over 700 children in crisis. Tickets for Swing Time at the Speakeasy are available on the Mansion Memories website www.mansionmemories.org.

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