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Starlight Santa To Benefit UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center

For Immediate Release

Sutton, MA — In 1991, we started a wonderful relationship with the Starlight Children’s Foundation. The warmth and caring personality of founder Emma Samms started us on this journey to create something much more than a tradition, but a Santa to help grant wishes for children. Along the way, we had been blessed to meet many wonderful and caring people who have joined us on our journey, including Tom Bergeron who has been a supporter since the beginning. During this time, we were shocked and pleased to see the number of families that had chosen to make our annual Starlight Santa part of their own families’ traditions.

Tom Bergeron and Emma Samms joining Gary and Judi Vaillancourt in 1993 during the 4th introduction of Vaillancourt Folk Art's Starlight Santa.

Tom Bergeron and Emma Samms joining Gary and Judi Vaillancourt in 1993 during the 4th introduction of Vaillancourt Folk Art’s Starlight Santa.

Over the past 25 years, we have granted over 100 wishes and purchased 15 Fun Centers—with a majority going to pediatric units at Worcester’s UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center. The relationship with Starlight and our collectors have enriched our lives and touched our souls!

The 25th Annual Starlight Santa on Scooter

2014 marks 25 years of Starlight Santas—This year is the Starlight Santa on Scooter

In 2013, the Starlight Children’s Foundation closed their local chapter after their national organization restructured; this meant they could no longer focus their resources on granting local wishes to the extent that we desired. Therefore, starting this year, we’ve decided to continue our annual donation with a direct contribution to Worcester’s UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center where it will be used to help kids get through whatever treatment they are undergoing through the Child Life’s Artist In Residence Program.

We have nothing but love, respect and thanks to the Starlight Children’s Foundation, but we believe it was important for us to work with a local children’s health provider. It was not a decision that we took lightly, but as a local, family business committed to local community, we feel this is the best decision. It is only fitting that during our company’s 30th Anniversary we are able to announce that our 25th Annual Starlight Santa will help a local child cope through his or her health care experiences.

UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center devotes their expertise to the care of infants, children and adolescents through primary care to specific surgery. In addition, the Children’s Medical Center offers primary care, emergency care and specialty care; the inpatient unit and the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit provide children and their families comprehensive and compassionate medical care and support. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit offers acute care to the tiniest patients. We share a common focus and hope through the introduction of our annual Starlight Santa and look forward to doing what we can do to ensure children get through with the joy of art and Christmas.

Vaillancourt folk art introduces new fun center at umass memorial. The New Uxbridge Times.

Gary, Judi, and Luke M. Vaillancourt introducing the newest Fun Center in 2011 with Rob Wing (center), Director of Child Life Services.



About The Annual Starlight Santa

Since 1990, Judi Vaillancourt has designed a special chalkware Santa with a portion of the proceeds donated to UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center‘s Child Life program. The design, which is introduced in November, is created as a limited edition that is retired on Christmas Day (never to be produced again!). Although Vaillancourt Folk Art introduces over 100 pieces a year, the Starlight Santa has become one of the most sought after collectibles in the domestic Christmas market because of its detail, tradition, and intentions.

About Vaillancourt Folk Art

Vaillancourt Folk Art has been creating highly detailed, hand-painted collectible chalkware from antique moulds in their Sutton, Massachusetts studios since 1984. With a goal of creating that one special gift that will be handed down for generations, Vaillancourt chalkware is an original form of art. Still family owned and operated, Vaillancourt products are available to 500 stores around the nation, including Nordstroms, Neiman Marcus, Williamsburg, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and hundreds of small shoppes. Their Sutton Studio, Museum, and gallery is open daily, Monday through Saturday 9-5 and Sunday 11-5.