Red Shoe Ball raises $17,000

Date: 5/15/2014

HADLEY – The third annual Friends of Children Red Shoe Ball, which took place April 11 at the Look Memorial Park Garden House in Florence, raised more than $17,000 for the organization.

The money will be used to support the work of Friends of Children, a nonprofit organization that advocates for abused and neglected children, many of whom are in foster care. This year is Friends of Children’s 25th anniversary.

“This was our most successful ball yet,” Jane Lyons, the organization’s executive director, said. “Its success will allow us to help raise awareness about and advocate for children in Hampshire and Franklin counties who are struggling.”

The Red Shoe Ball got its name from Dorothy’s red ruby slippers in “The Wizard of Oz” because children in foster care know there is no place like home, Lyons said.

The event featured dancing, live music and live and silent auctions with prizes such as vacation stays and a hot air balloon ride. Many attendees wore red shoes, some creatively decorated, in honor of the event.

Friends of Children provides essential advocacy services to vulnerable children so they have safe, consistent and equal opportunities to reach their fullest potential. The organization oversees the Court Appointed Special Advocates program, which promotes and advocates for the best interests of children involved in abuse and neglect cases in Franklin and Hampshire counties each year. Since it began, Friends of Children has advocated on behalf of more than 10,000 children in Western Massachusetts.

For more information, contact Lyons at 586-0011 or Additional information may also be found at the organization’s website,