Firelands Auxiliary Brings Nutcracker Delight to Teen, Care to Patients

By Christine Mack, Development Officer

Elyse Knape loves nutcrackers and with good reason - she has danced the nutcracker ballet for several years and this 14- year-old ballerina boasts quite a collection of nutcracker figurines. So, when her Godmother Sara Peck, who is a nurse at Firelands, entered the Firelands Regional Medical Center Auxiliary Gift Shops raffle for an extra-large, lighted nutcracker figurine, Sara knew exactly where this wooden soldier would live if her name was drawn.

The raffle ran in the shops for several weeks as a fundraiser to help fulfill the Firelands Auxiliary’s mission of enhancing patient care. This popular raffle attracted a lot of entries from medical center employees, patients, families and community members. Of course, she knew her odds of winning the Christmas décor item were low, so she did not tell Ellie about her raffle ticket entry. Imagine her surprise and joy when Sara received the news that she was, indeed, the lucky winner of the Firelands Auxiliary Gift Shops Nutcracker Raffle. Yet, she still didn’t tell Ellie of her good fortune…a Christmas surprise was in store!

“When we gave her the nutcracker, she was in complete shock,” Sara recalls, “She loved it! We had her put on her ballet outfit and posed her right in front of the nutcracker for photos.”

Cast as the Mouse Queen in a production of the Nutcracker this year, Ellie even had props from her show to adorn the nutcracker.

“She told me, ‘My life is complete. This tops Christmas and makes this the best Christmas ever!’,” Sara says, “Thank you so much to the Firelands Auxiliary for making this possible. This raffle item made the perfect Christmas gift for Ellie this year.”

Thanks to Sara and everyone who purchased raffle tickets, the Firelands Regional Medical Center Auxiliary raised nearly $650 in their annual holiday drawing, all to help patients receive extraordinary care at Firelands Regional Medical Center. 

Learn more about the Firelands Auxiliary and gift shops today.