Society / The Seen

Alice in Wonderland Comes to Life in Houston for a Drive-Thru Like No Other

Bringing Fun to Texas Children's Hospital Ambassadors

BY // 09.18.20
photography Brandy Stoesz Photography

Long before presidential candidate Joe Biden held his drive-in-style town hall, the creative minds at Texas Children’s Hospital were divining their own auto-oriented charity event in a nod to the bedeviling social distancing dictated by COVID-19. Alice in Wonderland came to life in Houston for 100 families — in cars — belonging to the hospital’s Ambassadors philanthropic group.

The Revaire was the backdrop for the afternoon of alternate reality as moms, dads, and kids drove through a scene populated with all the characters from the Lewis Carroll classic. Alice presented boxes of family-friendly dinner from A Fare Extraordinaire: watermelon, tomato, and feta salad; spaghetti and meatballs with tomato sauce and roasted cauliflower covered in golden raisins, pine nuts, and capers; and lavender pound cakes for dessert. Plus, a bottle of pinot noir for the adults and lemonade for the kiddos.

The Mad Hatter and White Rabbit distributed tea-party craft sets for the children to paint and play with at home, guaranteeing that the annual Family Fun Day was a hit.

More than 1,500 families belong to the Ambassadors, and many of those who did not participate in the drive-by viewed from home. Following The Revaire party, participants tuned in online for the program led by event chairs Jennifer and Chris Laporte. The message was thanks for the generous fundraising generated by the Ambassadors in the last year and information on Texas Children’s response to community needs during the pandemic.

In addition to raising funds through financial commitments, the organization hosts a number of special events each year. In 2019, the Family Fun Day at Minute Maid Park was a hit. Traditionally, the Ambassadors’ giving is celebrated every holiday season with a festive dinner evening, such as this one that was held last December. That evening celebrated the more than $850,000 raised for the hospital that accepts all children, whether their families are able to pay for the care or not.

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