It was a magical evening in Warren, New Jersey, as Wear the Cape and the kidkind Foundation hosted its fourth annual holiday fundraiser.  What Founder Leigh Ann Errico started as a Christmas cookie exchange in a small dorm room over 20 years ago with only a handful of friends has evolved into a spectacular night every year, with almost 100 women and children gathering to support and celebrate the works of Wear the Cape and the kidkind Foundation.

Some of the original attendees joined the event this evening, including Cynthia Caramico, who gave a passionate testimonial on Wear the Cape’s elementary school Hero Assembly. The program reached thousands of kids this year through over 30 performances since its launch less than a year ago. Guests got a taste of the interactive assembly by watching a highlight video featuring real kids who acted in the assembly to spread kindness and encouragement in the fight against bullying. All were inspired and agreed that the program’s focus on courage and kindness, delivered through relatable messages, is a must for all schools.

Over 20 young children, ranging in age from four to 16, volunteered to help at the event. These Cape Kids greeted guests with big smiles and huge hearts, as they collected toy donations for underprivileged children via New Jersey Children’s Shelter of Trenton, and much needed supplies for our troops overseas via Operation NJ Cares.  YLP Parking of Kenilworth, New Jersey donated their valet fee, as a way to honor all veterans and “pay it forward.”

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Coming together to toast to kindness and commemorate the achievements of the past year was a highlight of the evening. In addition to launching and performing Hero Assemblies, a number of which were donated, these accomplishments include being chosen to present at the NJASEC Convention at Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ; developing Cape South, a branch of Wear the Cape assemblies in Florida; and the creation of its first children’s book, titled IT’S GOOD TO BE KINGD, which kidkind Foundation will be donating to underprivileged kindergarten classrooms and Wear the Cape will be selling starting at the beginning of 2017.

Adorable Cape Kids modeled Wear the Cape’s newest merchandise: the cozy, embroidered Wear the Cape Hero Hat – White Winter Edition and the Cup of Kindness Mug, which joined the long list of Better Than That™ items, such as lip balm, T-shirts, baseball caps, and even beach balls!

Madame Hollis provided guests with kindness fortune readings on the lower level of the event, while the talented Will Honicky, a high school student from Morris Plains, and Chris Waryn of Watchung entertained guests with their beautiful melodies on the piano.

It was an evening of sheer enjoyment. And when the night came to an end, guests left with dozens of cookies to share in their own homes for the holidays.

After 20 years, the cookie swap tradition continues – only now guests are exchanging more than cookies. They share kindness, generosity, goodwill, and hope for a brighter, kinder world, for their families and children around the world.

For more information on how to donate to the kidkind Foundation, bring a Hero Assembly to a school near you, or purchase IT’S GOOD TO BE KINGD for a child in your life or for kids in need, please email leighann@wearthecapekids.com.