06/07/2011 – Starlight celebrates its 25th anniversary with the world’s biggest wishing party!
On Tueday 5th July, the City of London’s picturesque Artillery Gardens at the HAC became a magical wonderland for 450 very poorly children from Greater London as Starlight Children’s Foundation hosted its annual Wishing Party.
Starlight grants once-in-a-lifetime wishes to the UK’s most seriously and terminally ill children and the party brought to life some of its most popular wishes. The young guests and their families played cowboys and indians, rode donkeys on Starlight’s specially-created beach, met Jasmine and the Genie in Aladdin’s palace and watched creepy crawlies in the jungle. They were also able to test their football skills in the sports area that was hosted by Tottenham Hotspur Foundation coaching team, while others strutted their stuff on the catwalk and posed for the cameras in the fashion area.
At lunchtime, Starlight invited its guests to eat in an amazing Willy Wonka-themed area and, later, the day was concluded with a spectacular performance from Danielle Hope, who plays Dorothy in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Wizard of Oz, having won the part from the BBC’s hit show, Over the Rainbow. In the finale, Danielle was also joined by West End Kids, which is the UK’s best known song and dance troupe, made up of singers and dancers from the South East of England.
One of Starlight’s young guests was nine year old Lydia Wren from London, who was diagnosed just before her eighth birthday with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Sadly Lydia found her chemotherapy treatment very hard to tolerate and, in addition to being very sick at times, also lost her hair.
Lydia’s Starlight wish is to spend a day with baby elephants and, at the Starlight Wishing Party, the youngster got a taste of things to come as she stroked a lifelike baby elephant in the jungle. When she has completed her treatment, Starlight will send Lydia, whose favourite animals are elephants, to an elephant park in South Africa where her greatest dream will come true.
Neil Swan, Chief Executive of Starlight Children’s Foundation said: “Starlight is all about fun, entertainment and distraction and the Starlight Wishing Party gives very poorly children a chance to forget their illnesses for a day and just enjoy being kids. Starlight has now been granting wishes to seriously and terminally ill children for 25 years and, from just four wishes granted in our first year to more than a 1,000 wishes on our books at any one time, this party was a celebration of the most popular wishes and our continuing work with the country’s most poorly children.”
We are asking supporters to help us celebrate our 25th year of making seriously ill children smile by participating in The Starlight Fairy Cake Bake.
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Starlight grants a once-in-a-lifetime wish for seriously and terminally ill children, restoring the magic and fun of childhood and giving the whole family happy memories to share, whatever the future holds.
Starlight also creates entertainment in every hospital and hospice throughout the UK. Sick children go to Starlight parties, laugh their way through pantomimes, go out on Starlight Escapes, play games and watch films on the Starlight Fun Centre, and enjoy the toys and puzzles of the Starlight Distraction Box. Happy children respond better to treatment and Starlight helps children to forget about their illness and simply have a bit of fun.
You can make a donation online or by calling us on 020 7262 2881. For every £1 you donate, Starlight can assure you that 91p goes towards helping very ill children. To refer a child for a wish, simply complete our wish referral form.