PALMYRA, Mo. -- A popular fund-raising event geared for little girls was in danger of falling by the wayside, but participants can now breathe a sigh of relief.
The 13th annual Princess Tea Party will be carried out next month as usual.
The event -- for children ages 2-10 -- will be held May 12 at the Sesquicentennial Building in Palmyra's Flower City Park, sponsored by the Relay for Life of Marion County.
Check-in will begin at 9:30 a.m., with "tea" (actually lemonade) served at 10.
Children may come to the event dressed in "whatever makes them feel special" to enjoy a festive tea party with other little princesses from around the area, said Susan Berti, team development ambassador with the Relay for Life of Marion County.
The popular event almost wasn't going to happen this year. Berti said for the past 12 years the tea party was sponsored by a Relay for Life team called "Team Ohana," which started the event in 2005 after the team's captain, Yvonne Goellner, learned that her 2-year-old daughter was diagnosed with cancer.
The tea party was an immediate hit. It routinely attracted between 150 and 175 children, each accompanied by an adult escort.
However, Team Ohana recently dissolved, which put the event in danger of disappearing as well.
That's when several other Relay for Life teams from Marion County stepped forward to take over the event "rather than let the fund raiser dissolve," Berti said. "It's been a really good fund raiser for us."
So this year's event is being planned and staffed by several teams active in the Relay for Life of Marion County.
"We want to continue the tradition of treating girls royally and serving them pink lemonade and delicious bite-sized treats at the annual Princess Tea Party in Palmyra," said Berti, who is a member of the Flower Children relay team based in Palmyra.
Berti said the Princess Tea Party raises money by collecting donations from participants. She said the cost to attend the party is "a donation in any amount" to the American Cancer Society, paid at the door.
Berti said seating is limited and fills up quickly. Reservations can by made by visiting the Princess Tea Party of Marion County on Facebook or by calling Kathryn McDaniel at 217-740-1496 or Berti at 573-822-2562.
Each princess is asked to bring just one adult guest because of space constraints.