MIDLOTHIAN – Saturday evening saw the Midlothian Civic Center filled with happy revelers for the red-carpet social fundraiser. The come as you are or dress in costume as your favorite celebrity was a social event for children and adults alike.
For Maddie’s Sake, Inc., named for Maddie Dixon, hosted the gala.
“We started these events in 2011 to provide a place for children and adults that have disabilities to have fun and socialize with others,” Dixon said. “These events are a fulfillment of a life-long dream for a little girl and her friend to have a feeling for being accepted.”
Maddie Dixon, the daughter of Donna and Richard Dixon was born with Feingold Syndrome or small head syndrome.
“She was withdrawn and would not talk or want to meet others. Now she is outgoing and talks to others. These events have helped not only her but other children in similar circumstances,” Dixon said.
Not only have the social events have helped Maddie’s friends and other disabled children who have attended, they have helped many of the parents who have joined support groups.
“We started a local support group and attend a national support conference in Phoenix, Ariz. Through the national event, we have developed a nationwide support group of parents of children with the same syndrome as Maddie. Support groups are so important. They help parents know they are not alone and need the support of others,” Dixon said.
The gala event kicked off with a deejay playing music for all types of dance. The Chicken Dance was a favorite as the dance floor filled with children and adults alike. There were many fathers and mother dancing with their children during the evening.
“We’ve found the parents have as much fun as the children,” Dixon said.
Many arrived in costume. Celebrities dressed as Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty, Marilyn Monroe, Davey Crocket and Taylor Swift graced the red carpet. Uncle Si was able to pose for the paparazzi with his duck-retrieving poodle, Brandy.
The poodle, in reality is a trained therapy dog brought to the event by Dina Klotz, a volunteer for Midlothian P.A.W.S. Brandi was a favorite among many of the children wanting to lead her around the party.
The initial event, held in 2011, was not only a social gathering, but also as a fundraiser to pay for the event and for participation in the annual Dallas March For Respect. Last year the Midlothian group was an award winner in the march.
“At first we charged an admission. We decided to try a door donation plus local donations. The donations have been a success and we have drawn people from as far away as Denton and Rockwall,” Dixon said.
The events are also a chance for groups and teens to help out.
“We have had the Girl Scouts and the Midlothian High School Pantherettes. Maddie had so much fun and got to be friends with the Girl Scouts that they invited her to become a part of their troop,” Dixon said.
“We are always in need of volunteers to help out.Individuals or groups that are looking for service hour projects are welcome to contact me,” Dixon said.
Dixon can be reached through the website www. ForMaddiesSake.com.
As the evening wore on, Maddie and many of her friends continued to dance, play dress up for photos or just share time with others.