It was a night for adults to feel like kids again, and for a good cause.
More than 400 people were packed inside the Huntington Club Friday at Ohio Stadium for Martinis and Magic — a fundraising event hosted by the Central Ohio chapter of A Kid Again — raising about $140,000 throughout the night.
A Kid Again is an organization that hosts monthly events called “adventures” for families that are raising children with life-threatening illnesses, said Chris Elliott, executive director of the Central Ohio chapter of A Kid Again. “Adventures” could include bringing families to Columbus Crew games, King’s Island and the Columbus Zoo.
“Martinis and Magic is one of our larger fundraisers, and obviously the goal is to raise awareness and funds to put on all of these adventures,” Mary Derr, engagement and communications coordinator at A Kid Again, said. “It’s a fun night to raise both awareness for our organization and funds.”
As guests walked the halls and main dining areas of Huntington Club, they were approached by magicians, and had the opportunity to watch sit-down magic shows.
Yaz Ashrawi of Upper Arlington came to the event because he had a co-worker on the board of the organization who introduced him to A Kid Again, and wanted to show his support.
“This is a great event, great food, great people, great cause, so I’m really enjoying it,” Ashrawi said. “I got exposed to one of the magic tricks and one of the magic shows. It totally blew my mind, so it’s been really cool.”
There were also performances by a flair bartender who auctioned off the drinks he made to guests, as well as Los Angeles-based group The Killer Dueling Pianos, who took song requests from guests and auctioned off song-change requests.
While some people donated money through drinks and songs, others did so through a silent auction. Items up for auction included signed Ohio State memorabilia, gaming consoles, paintings by A Kid Again children and more.
“This event is critical to what we do as an organization,” said Brent Thomas, board member of A Kid Again. “We totally rely on the individuals that come to the fundraiser, spend money, have fun … so we can carry out [the ‘adventures’] throughout the year.”
Elliott said Martinis and Magic ties into the organization’s mission, with it being loosely based on another “adventure” the organization hosts called Miracles and Magic.
“It’s just that chance for even adults to kind of be a little like kids for the evening in terms of a fundraising event because they’re enjoying the amazements of what magicians can do as they stroll around,” Elliott said.
At one point during the night, Elliott got on stage to greet the guests, thank them for coming and encourage them to keep making donations.
“Get your phones out, get your wallets out and make donations for the kids. Get them out of the hospital and let them enjoy being a kid again,” Elliott said.