CASPER, Wyo. – Whenever there was a big mirror in the room, Olivia Caldwell couldn’t help but stop to look.
“Olivia had a great love of dressing up,” said her mother Katie Caldwell-Burchett.
“She was sick, but anytime I put her in a dress or had a big bow on, she’d have me stop and pose so she could see how pretty she looked in her dress.”
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With that memory, Katie and the board members of the Olivia Caldwell Foundation hatched the Butterfly Ball Adult Prom as a fundraiser.
“She would love this, if she knew people were getting dressed up,” said Katie.
Along with dresses, Olivia adored butterflies, which made the using them a a theme for the prom an easy choice.
The Olivia Caldwell Foundation was started to raise money for pediatric cancer research after Olivia died from complications from cancer. She was just 20 months old.
While the foundation’s main goal is to raise money for research, it has also been instrumental in adding essential services for pediatric cancer patients in Wyoming.
Last year, the Pediatric Specialty Outreach Clinic opened in Casper, which parthers with Children’s Hospital Colorado, CU School of Medicine, and Wyoming Medical Center to bring essential services to Casper that were otherwise only available in Colorado.
The annual prom is one of the foundation’s major fundraising events of the year, and it’s also a way to keep Olivia’s memory and spirit alive.
“It’s another way to bring people together and remember her,” said Katie.
The ball has grown since it’s first run three years ago. This year it will be held at the Casper Events Center for the first time.
“We have everyone from people in their early-20s to a couple in their 80s,” said Katie.
The event this Saturday night features a live DJ and light show, and will be hosted by Prairie Wife. Dancing, drinks and heavy hors d’ouerves and desserts will be offered, and professional photographers Ben Winckler and Jessica Sorenson will be on hand to take photos. Various raffles and silent auctions will also be featured.
“We purpously try to do things around the times of year it would be tough, so that it feels like we’re doing something active to remember her and not just sitting around and moping,” said Katie.
Olivia would’ve turned 8 on Wednesday, making a celebration of her life that helps other children with cancer a natural fit.
The 3rd Annual Butterfly Ball Adult Prom is on Saturday, Feb. 22, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Casper Events Center.
Tickets are available through Friday, Feb. 21, and can be purchased at www.oliviacaldwellfoundation.org.
Individual tickets are $65, couples tickets are $120, and VIP tables start at $750, and include reserved seating near the dance floor, bottle service and more.
All proceeds benefit the Olivia Caldwell Foundation.