On October 23, 2013 Nicole relapsed, making it even more important to finalize all the details for the first KIDSgala gifted party to a child. Unfortunately, the KIDSgala event that was being planned, turned into a memorial luncheon for Nicole Marie Burton.
KIDSgala was officially formed in late 2013, in memory of Nicole Marie Burton, who passed away at the age of 9.
Since late 2013, David C. McKnight, President and the Board of Directors have raised thousands of dollars with fundraising events, and in 2014 KIDSgala started gifting “celebration of life” parties to children. With the help of generous sponsors, donations, and volunteers, KIDSgala continues to grow.
A foundation created in the memory of Nicole Marie Burton, to provide a gifted celebration to children who have or are battling a life altering event. KIDSgala is dedicated to hosting events that will individually celebrate each child’s life achievements.
In 2009, David C. McKnight re-connected with a high school classmate from Lake Orion, Shelly Lang Burton. At that time, Shelly and David became very close and learned of Shelly and Jim’s daughter, Nicole Marie Burton, who was diagnosed with Leukemia.
David, who makes a living out of helping people plan and celebrate life’s events, wanted to do something special for Nicole.
He conceived of the idea of hosting parties for children who are battling something tough and challenging in their life. David’s vision was to bring some hope and fun to these children and their families. Nicole was David’s inspiration to start KIDSgala and was intended to be the first recipient of a celebration.