The french doors opened wide onto the terrace and the sunshine filled the foyer at the National Museum of Dance on Thursday night. Spring was in full bloom and the weather couldn't have been more perfect for Child's Play 6: Shake, Taste & Twirl to benefit the Karen and Gary Dake Foundation for Children at the National Museum of Dance. The foundation's goal is to provide children with disabilities access to equipment and services that will enable them to reach their fullest potential for participation within their families, communities and with their peers, and over 215 people mingled in the museum for the event.
Guests made the rounds sampling wine and beer from DeCrescente Distributing Company, Saratoga Courage, Olde Saratoga Brewing Co., Druthers, Davidson Brothers Brewing Co., Browns Brewing Co., Thirsty Owl and the Saratoga Winery while music by FreePlay (featuring Mike Perkins) filled the space. Ashley Freeman and Nick Cook from Airstream Catering put on quite the spread, with sumptuous bites like Lahajoon Pizza (lamb pizza), stuffed mushrooms with broccoli rabe and prosciutto, pulled pork mini tacos, and mini BLTs on fluffy bite sized biscuits. Rena's Fine Flowers hit just the right spring note with the floral displays, and between the BLTs, the lush flowers, and the sunshine streaming through we felt like we were at a colorful garden party.
Silent auction items lined one wall, and guests alternated between updating their bids and chatting with friends. A golf package from Spa Park Golf, items from Northshire Bookstore, Reform Pilates, and a Sundae Package & Stewart's Ice Cream were all popular bid sheets. Mingling in the crowd we spotted Gary Dake, David & Allison Meyers, Kate & Mike Naughton, Lisa Moser, Colleen & Skip Carlson, Jenn & Matt Hennessy, Chris & Lisa Millis, Mike Munter, Cindy & John Munter, Annie Krasnicki, Michele and Ron Riggi, Angelo Calbone, Caroline Baumis, Dave and Stephane Collins, Karen Dake, Valerie Collins, Sabrina Houser, Heather and Brian Straughter, Kate Jarosh, Heath Ames, and Michele Madigan.
Without question the highlight of the evening came when co-chairs Lisa Munter and Kim Waters took the microphone to welcome guests and introduce the special guest who would be playing with the band. They joked that they were the "Tina Fey and Amy Pohler" of the evening and that wasn't far from the truth as they had everyone laughing. First introduced was Mike DiCesare, the co-creator of the Jamboxx, a new musical instrument designed to be played hands-free. Mike spoke about the instrument and about the special guest, Shamar Persaud, a local high school student who received a Jamboxx from the foundation. Shamar is diagnosed with Dystonia and Cerebral Palsy, and these conditions cause muscle spasticity and restrict his movements.
Mike then introduced Shamar and the band kicked off with Shamar playing along. The performance was truly uplifting and the entire room got into the jam. "His enthusiasm and spirit resonated throughout the room....His perseverance to follow his passion for music and not let his physical limitations get in the way was so inspirational and left me with goose bumps as I heard him perform," said co-chair Lisa Munter.
Co-Chairs Lisa Munter and Kim Waters were thrilled with the event. "We would say the jam that comes to my mind to sum up the event would be 'Raise Your Glass' by Pink.... Between the dynamics of our wonderful committee and the team of people who agreed to be a part of our event (our caterer, band, venue, florist, the breweries, wineries and distillery) and our guests that made the commitment to support us by coming out to celebrate with us, we feel we hit a homerun for Child's Play this year!"
Raising $76,500 gross for the foundation, Child's Play 6 was truly a success. With the funds raised going to help local children with disabilities, we can't wait to see the positive impacts made on children's lives in the coming year through the Karen and Gary Dake Foundation.