Halloween is a favorite holiday for many kids. Dressing up as whatever they want to be and eating all the candy they want creates a night of fun that is looked forward to all year. For the kids in the clinic, this is no different. This is why the Family Relations Committee hosts the annual DanceBoo Family Party. 

On Sunday, October 27, current and former clinic families, clinic employees, Adopt-A-Family Captains, and the Family Relations Committee came together in the Gatton Student Center for an afternoon of spooky fun. Planned by Clinic Events Coordinator Anna Crafton, DanceBoo had various craft stations, such as tie-dying and slime-making, as well as stations for the kids to collect candy. Later on, there were also performances from the University of Kentucky Dance Team and appearances from both the hospital service dogs and the mascot, Scratch. “There really isn’t a particular order of events. It’s mainly just a free-for-all, and we do whatever the kids want,” said Family Relations Chair Kirsten Richards. While their kids stayed entertained, the parents could then visit the “Relaxation Room” filled with essential oils, calming music, and the ability to enter a raffle to win a massage.

In addition to all the fun for the younger kids and their parents, there was also a “Teen Tailgate” for the older kids that included video games, board games, and lots of food. This was the first event targeted specifically to young adults and will pave the way to the monthly teen events that are to come. These future events will include a station tour of WRFL, Ugly Sweater Party, Pancakes and Pajamas, Wings and Video Games, Trivia and Food, Cook Out, and a Red-Carpet Awards Ceremony. “We want to make sure that all of the older patients in the clinic feel supported and valued because a lot of the time we tend to only think of the younger, smaller people when we say ‘FTK’,” said Teen Events Coordinator Peyton Henderson. The monthly events will also allow the teens to build friendships with both the Committee members and other patients. As a result, the teen events will have more involvement from the whole of DanceBlue Committee, as select Committees will be able to attend each one. Teen Tailgate, for instance, had the Technology Committee attend. 

DanceBoo is one of three family parties that are held each year. Both the Holiday Party and Spring Party will be held later this school year, along with the monthly teen events and the marathon itself. “Many kiddos in the clinic don’t have the opportunity to experience trick or treating or holiday classroom parties, and family parties are a way for them to get to experience all of these fun things! I think family parties also provide a sense of inclusivity for everyone,” said Family Relations Committee member Gillian Senter. Besides the awesome purpose behind these parties, the kids genuinely love going to them as well. “Every time I looked at a kid or a teen at DanceBoo, they all seemed so genuinely happy to be there. As an event planner that is all you can hope for,” said Henderson.

If you want to show your support for family parties and the many things Family Relations Committee does, any donations (money, face painting, clowns, Santa, balloon animals, food, etc.) are greatly appreciated! Email [email protected] to find out how you can donate and support the kids.