Valentine’s Day may have come and gone, but dozens of Michiana residents flocked to downtown South Bend Friday night to take part in the Sweetheart Ball.
The Palais Royale was packed full of party-goers ready for a fun evening filled with food, dancing and music.
The motivation behind Friday night’s gathering was to raise awareness for the nearly 2,000 Michiana families with extremely handicapped children.
The event raised money for A Rosie Place, South Bend’s first and only specialty care facility of its kind.
According to Bunmi Okanlami, the President of the facility’s board of directors, every dime that has been fundraised came from the generosity of community members.
A Rosie Place is a home away from home that provides kids with a safe and comfortable place to stay, and provides their families with a respite from the demands of 24-hour care many of these children require.
“It was amazing to be able to start something from just a dream and now we're here celebrating our second year of operations,” said Tieal Bishop, Executive Director of the O’Hara Heritage Foundation.
Bishop added, “It's a place where the children can experience something that they're not likely to do. Most of their lives are sterile and in hospitals, so we've provided a place that's just extraordinary.”
NewsCenter 16’s own Maureen McFadden emceed the charity ball. Organizers say that despite this being the first year for the event, every table was filled and they reached their fundraising goal.