Saturday, October 20, 2012

SOLCA Birthday Party

October 5, 2012 Elisa (our co-chairman) of the 2nd annual Color Purple Event and I had the privilege of attending a "Quince Anos" birthday party held for those young ladies and young men who were turning 15.  Ecuador's "Quince Anos" is equivalent to the American "Sweet Sixteen."  The fiesta included young people who are currently in treatment or have been treated for cancer in the past. 

It was quite a party.  As you will see from the pictures below, first there was an empty room, then began filling up family by family, person by person until it was full!  Balloons, colors, festive atmostphere was everywhere.  The guests of honor were upstairs getting dressed into formal attire - almost like it was a prom!

Before they walked down the stairs with escorts to take their reserved seating, the lady voluteers of SOLCA all sang a song.  Elisa interpreted for me of what they singing.  It was a song giving praise to God, thanking for His love, and that He is the One who heals.

A prayer was offered by one of the volunteers and with that, the procession began.  Beautiful young people in their processional with smiles of joy as the crowd admired and cheered them on!

Then here they come...down the stairs with escorts and led to their honored seats.  A festive clown was the emcee of the birthday fare.

Once into the hall filled with people, balloons and the smell of popcorn, they were given a welcome and birthday cheer.  A ceremony proceeded, almost like a wedding!  They toasted their 15th birthday with juice in a goblet and asked to dance the birthday waltz. 

The most touching part of their ceremony was when they asked each young person by name, to come forward with their partner or family member.  At that time they announced whom they had chosen as one who has especially been helpful or special to them during their treatment.  Sometimes it was a family member and sometimes it was a nurse or volunteer.  A garter was placed on their leg (just like in a wedding) to represent that special bond.

As you will see from the pictures below, it was a festive day for not only those turning 15, but for everyone who attended.  All were invited - even the younger children in SOLCA currently receiving chemo treatment.  They were brought into the hall with the IVs and a nurse to see that all was going well for them. 

It was a special day for them and for all of us who attended. 

And last Thursday, October 11th, we held our 2nd annual Color Purple Event.  We will be writing about this sometime next week with pictures!  Professional photographers graciously gave their time and film for the event so we are looking forward to seeing what all they captured.  We will give a full report of all that took place and the gift we will able to give SOLCA!

Enjoy the pictures from the birthday party! 

Sue Gaither