Rob Wing, Director of Child Life Services with Gary, Judi and Luke Vaillancourt unveiling the new Fun Center.
For Immediate Release
Sutton, MA — In 1991, we started a relationship with a 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.
In 2013, the children’s foundation that we had used for 24 years had abruptly closed their local chapter without notice, despite our longstanding relationship granting over 100 wishes including the purchase of 15 Fun Centers. With a majority of our wishes and donations going directly toward the local pediatric unit at Worcester’s UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center, it made perfect sense to continue working local and contribute our annual donation directly to 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 believe it was important for us to work with a local children’s health provider; something that our original children’s foundation could no longer provide. This year’s change provides the best way that we, as a local, family business, can make an impact in a child’s life. It is only fitting that during our company’s 30th Anniversary we are able to announce that our 25th Annual Starlight Santa will continue to 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.
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.