11/10/13 Burrage Mansion in Redlands plays host to ball for children in need
Members of If The Shoe Fits Character and Entertainment perform a song from Disney’s “Princess and the Frog” at the Saturday evening celebration at the Burrage Mansion in Redlands.
By Kristina Hernandez, Redlands Daily Facts, POSTED: 11/10/13, 8:22 PM
REDLANDS >> Cirenity McDaniel scrolled through an iPad that captured footage of fairy-tale characters who traveled to the Burrage Mansion on Saturday night to attend a celebration fit for royalty.
The 5-year-old Apple Valley girl smiled as she turned to her aunt, Juanita Mijares, to ask which video featured her favorite character in attendance — Ariel — who helped kick off the second annual “Magical Day at the Mansion” Royal Ball with song and dance.
The red-headed mermaid performed her signature song, “Part of Your World,” during a 30-minute musical spectacular that helped kick off the event after a horse-drawn carriage took each attendee to the home’s front entrance.
“(Ariel’s) song was perfect for her because she’s not able to walk — she scoots,” said Mijares of her niece, who was diagnosed with caudal regression syndrome at birth. “It was real emotional. She cried. But she’s a happy girl.”
Stories like Cirenity’s could have been found throughout the mansion on Saturday night as dozens of families shared their trials and tribulations with the myriad of characters in attendance from Jack Sparrow to Cinderella to Sophia The First.
The event for children in need was sponsored by If The Shoe Fits Character and Entertainment Co., which partnered with Micah House and Ignite Entertainment to make the event a success.
Music, photo opportunities and a dinner provided by Redlands-based chef Lee Burton were part of the event, which had the task of making memories for those who may not be able to afford to travel to local theme parks or around the globe.
Families were nominated via Facebook by the general public. If The Shoe Fits was asked to pick the families most in need to invite them to Saturday evening’s event where each child was also given toys and other goodies before leaving the historic home.
The children’s stories organizers said, ranged from battling cancer to losing a loved one to being diagnosed with a life-threatening disease.
Themed tables greeted guests as they were escorted to a patio area of the home by a teen volunteer from Micah House. There they had a choice of tea or lemonade and a lasagna or pizza entree prepared by Burton and other volunteers.
Tim Rochford, who owns the historic home and founded the Rochford Foundation, was seated at the table themed after “The Princess and the Frog.”
The Redlands native smiled as he watched children wave and ask questions as they passed by the table.
“It is incredibly heartwarming to see smiles and laughter on these kids’ faces,” he said. It’s magical. Yeah. It’s pretty incredible.”
A horse-drawn carriage brings attendees to the Burrage Mansion in Redlands on Saturday.