DALLAS – Westyn Bates, 7, of Waxahachie, is a featured model and artist at The Children’s Cancer Fund Annual Gala, a NYC-themed “Broadway Nights and Runway Lights” event – the nonprofit’s 29th annual fundraiser for pediatric oncology research and treatment programs.
The Gala features live and silent auctions, a children’s fashion show, dinner, drinks and dancing to musical entertainment by DJ Lucy Wrubel. It will be held on Friday, April 21 at 6 p.m. (champagne reception), 7:15 (dinner and program), at the Hilton Anatole Hotel, 2201 N. Stemmons Freeway.
A fashion show presented by Dillard’s and produced by RSC Show Productions will feature children who are undergoing treatment for cancer at Children's Health in Dallas. The children, “models” for the fashion show, are escorted down the runway by Honorary Event Chairmen Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach, along with many other celebrities and sponsors.
Gala event Chair Pamela Moayedi, will kick off the program with Aikman and Staubach, who will turn it over to CBS11 News Anchor Karen Borta, mistress of ceremonies.
Proceeds from the Gala, slated to raise more than $1 million, go to Children’s Cancer Fund to support pediatric cancer research and treatment programs at Children's Medical Center. Since 1982,
Children’s Cancer Fund has donated almost $8 million to the cause. The Children’s Cancer Fund spring event is the organization’s largest annual fundraiser for pediatric cancer, hosting over 1,000 guests from North Texas and across the nation.
Diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma at the age of 3, Westyn Bates is a homeschooled first grader and the youngest of 12 with four sisters and seven brothers. He also has a dog, two chickens, and two turtles named Flash and Dash. He is happiest when he is snuggling with his mom or playing with his big brother Braiden.
“Braiden is my hero because he’s nice to me, plays with me, and watches over me,” said Westyn Bates.
Bates wants to be a hockey player or a restaurant owner when he grows up. He is very active, and enjoys ice skating, riding his bike, and hiking.
His favorite movie stars are Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars and Timmy from Jurassic Park. He also really likes Charles Schulz’s Peanuts characters and movies and lists the Charlie Brown theme as his favorite song. If he could go anywhere in the world, he would go to Italy to see where pizza was invented!
“I am super excited about the Gala because I know it helps other kids at the hospital,” added Bates.
Children’s Cancer Fund brings together local celebrities, dignitaries, philanthropists, sponsors, and media personalities to serve as runway escorts for these young patients modeling in the fashion show. Honorary Event Chairs Aikman and Staubach have been involved for many years: Aikman for 20 and Staubach since the event’s inception 29 years ago.
Additional celebrity escorts include current Dallas Cowboys players, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, Station #19 Dallas Fire Dept., Dallas SWAT, Julie Dobbs-Fox Sports Southwest Dallas Stars Commentator, Alisha Laventure-WFAA, Jane McGarry-WFAA, Scott Murray, Miss Texas Caroline Carothers, the Pink Heals Firefighters, and Amy Vanderoef.
In addition to DJ Lucy Wrubel, entertainment throughout the event will be provided by the Jordan Kahn Orchestra, Next Step Dance, Avery-Jai Andrews, and Jacoby Pruitt.
“When I was diagnosed with a tumor in 2009 at UT Southwestern, I was terrified about what would happen next. Thankfully my tumor was benign, but my fear was real,” said Gala Chair Pamela Moayedi.
Individual tickets are $300 or $2,750 for a table of 10. Contact Children’s Cancer Fund at 972-664-1450 or visit www.ChildrensCancerFund.com/Gala for reservations.