It’s the social event of the season—the costumes are elaborate, the dance floor is jumping, and some have been known to have a cocktail or two as the evening goes on. It’s the Mahana Magic Monster Ball, held at the Old Lantern every year the week before Halloween, and this year’s party (for revelers 21 and older) promises to be just as ghoulishly grand as the last. The party takes place on October 25 from 7:00 p.m. to 11 p.m.

It’s the event’s 10-year anniversary, and it coincides with the 10-year anniversary of the Mahana Magic Foundation, a nonprofit organization that emotionally and financially supports children whose parents have or had cancer.

Sara Wool, who grew up in Charlotte and whose parents still live here, attended the party for years with her husband, Gabe Rodriguez, recognizing Mahana Magic’s importance, but never anticipating how much it would come to mean to her children and her family. Rodriguez was diagnosed with rectal cancer in 2017, and over the years, he and their children benefited immensely from the activities and support provided by the foundation.

“Mahana Magic provided engaging activities for my kids, with other kids who were going through a similar situation with their parents,” Wool said. The children’s counselor at UVM Medical Center, who was funded by Mahana Magic, was crucial for them, she said. “Ali Waltien has been working with them for three years to help them navigate going through this difficult process.”

Rodriguez passed away in June, and Wool plans to attend the Monster Bash with a bit of a different mindset. “I’ve been to many of these parties in the past, with Gabe, and it really hits home now that he’s no longer here,” she said, “that I was able to benefit from it directly, and so were my kids.”

All funds raised at the Monster Bash go to services for children impacted by a parent or caregiver’s cancer. Tickets can be purchased at the Mahana Magic website, or through Eventbrite. Contact Monica Marshall or call (802) 540-0077 with any questions.