Getting Serious with a Candy-coated Celebration

I’ll get to the fab party shots in a sec, but first a little background. I have known Tish since I met my now husband ten years ago. Two kids each and a work-from-home job later, she gave me a buzz for some party inspiration in celebration of a big research grant award.

A couple of years ago, her brother’s little girl, Evie, was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, the number one genetic killer of children under the age of two. Later, her brother and sister-in-law’s nephew, Reese, was also diagnosed with SMA–a disease for which there is no cure. Rather than sitting around feeling helpless, their family set out to form Stop SMA, a nonprofit organization to fund research toward a cure for the various types of this disease–a cure that would have implications for other diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS and others.

Stop SMA recently won a cool $250,000 to fund research from the Pepsi Refresh Everything Challenge!  They worked for it too with a lot of behind the scenes help from friends and volunteers. They got the vote out every day for a full month, climbed steadily in the rankings, and did not stop ’til they reached the top. They pledged every cent toward research for a cure, so once they recovered from all that hard work, they dipped into their own pockets to throw a party for all the friends who helped them reach their goal.

Lauren and I got busy spinning out ideas. Here’s the inspiration board we did for the Stop SMA $250K Celebration.

Image Sources: Plates and Napkins, Paper Lanterns, Decorative Soap, Shot Glasses, Cocktail, Wonderworld Stacking Rings, Inflatables, CD Cases, Candy Buffet

The theme: Thanks! You’re a real lifesaver! It’s fun and playful but hints at the serious side of the truly lifesaving work they all did.

Tish was excited and got right on board with the lifesaver theme. She mixed in some of her own fantastic party magic and a few weeks later, she threw on her party dress and threw this super fun party! Enjoy.

The invitation was a custom-designed Evite using this color-themed artwork.

Here’s a new twist on party inflatables–using blow-up pool rings as decorations!

And later (much later) they hammed it up for the camera.

These cheerful flowers added a pop of color to the tables.

They had heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks, including that  fun green lifesaver cocktail pictured above in the party plan, and enjoyed a much-needed night among adults. I’d have parked it next to this sweet and colorful candy buffet all night long. How fun!

The play list included fave thematic songs about life and friendships,

and as party favors everyone took home a CD.

To remind everyone why they were celebrating, the favor table held a sign with some literature from Stop SMA. Those two sweeties are seriously cute!

Thanks to Tish for letting us help with the party and to her fab photographer friend, Ashley Warren, for sharing these beautiful shots! Check out her work at

For more information on SMA and how you can join the fight, visit their website at

Life Savers Candy is a registered trademark of Wrigley Company.

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