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  Comments (0) Total Wednesday Apr. 23, 2014
 
A Ball to Benefit Children
Family of girl who died of leukemia holding fourth annual fundraiser in Kalispell
Valicity Faith. | Courtesy photo
One week shy of her third birthday, Valicity Faith was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She bravely underwent chemotherapy, fighting for 14 months at the Seattle Children’s Hospital and, when the cancer went into remission, her homecoming celebration was a grand Princess Ball, of which she was the belle.

When she relapsed in March 2010 and the leukemia returned, Valicity underwent a more intensive treatment, battling the disease for months while beaming her contagious smile whenever her parents, Josh and Candy, promised another Princess Ball when they returned to Montana.

“That was kind of a light at the end of the tunnel for all of us,” Josh Faith said. “It never occurred to us that we’d be having a Princess Ball without her.”

In July 2010, Valicity sadly lost her battle with cancer. Understandably, the Faiths were devastated and without direction. After months of mourning, they decided to plan a celebration in remembrance of their princess, and in March 2011 they hosted the first Princess Ball, organizing it as a benefit and raising more than $15,000 for an organization called Angel Flight, which helped ferry Valicity to and from Seattle during winter months, when car travel was difficult.

“We were blown away,” Josh Faith said of the inaugural ball. “And it’s just continued to grow.”

For the second-annual ball, the Faiths decided to support the Montana Hope Project, a local nonprofit that in May 2009 helped Valicity fulfill her dream of meeting real live princes and princesses by sending her to Disney World.

Established in 1984 by the Association of Montana Highway Patrol Troopers, the Montana Hope Project is designed to help critically ill children find their dreams, and the Princess Ball raised $24,000. Last year’s ball raised more than $35,000, which the Faiths donated to the Ronald McDonald House for Charities.

“It really has been a therapeutic experience, just for the simple fact of being able to bring people together,” Josh Faith said. “Not only are we trying to raise monetary donations but also raise awareness of these organizations and how wonderful they are.”

The fourth annual Princess Ball will be hosted at the Red Lion Hotel in downtown Kalispell on March 1 at 7 p.m. Raffle prizes and drawings include a Seattle getaway with airfare and a catered Seattle Mariners box suite tickets, an African Safari hunting trip, and other gifts.

Professional hairdressers will be on hand along with makeup and professional photographers.

The proceeds of this year’s event will again be donated to the Montana Hope Project, and Faith said he expects to raise $60,000 and draw some 1,700 attendees.

“This year will be the biggest yet,” he said. “The entire community has been so amazing in turning out to support these organizations.”
 
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