A star-studded line up of A-list celebrities came together on Sunday evening, 18th October for SeriousFun Children’s Network’s first ever virtual gala SeriousFun For All. The event was a unique and inspiring spectacle of fun-filled family entertainment and VIP performances in honour of SeriousFun Children’s Network and its camps worldwide, including Over The Wall. The charity was set up by the late actor and philanthropist Paul Newman to provide life-changing camp experiences to children living with serious illnesses and their families.
The virtual event included musical performances, sketches, and surprise acts from a star-studded line-up of A-list celebrities including Sting, Dame Helen Mirren, Renée Zellweger, Rupert Friend, Aimee Mullins, Mark Hamill and Michael Sheen.
With other appearances from Jimmy Fallon, singer Trisha Yearwood, actress Allison Janney, blues musician and five-time Grammy Award winner Keb’ Mo’, Broadway star Laura Osnes, actress and stage director Phylicia Rashad and Clea Newman – the youngest daughter of Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman and Ambassador for SeriousFun – all showing support and appreciation to all of the campers, families, supporters, volunteers, and communities who have been bringing camp to life for kids for more than 30 years.
Setting the night off to an entertaining start was American talk show host Jimmy Fallon who called on campers from all over the world to show their SeriousFun camp spirit, including Over The Wall’s very own camper, Théo. Theo attended Midlands HC Camp in the Cloud this year, our innovative virtual camp in response to the pandemic.
Renée Zellweger and Michael Sheen recalled inspirational quotes from Paul Newman about SeriousFun. Renée recalled: “whenever he was feeling down in the dumps, he would just go to camp and it would reaffirm everything that was really good and generous about the world” adding “it seems we could all use a dose of camp right now”. Later in the show Michael remembered the “incredible campers” he hung out with in London in 2017 and recalled Newman’s “fierce belief that kids everywhere needed some serious fun. After all, since illness knows no boundaries, neither should camp.”
Dame Helen Mirren shared the uplifting story of two courageous Over The Wall campers, Olivia and Elsy who through attending camp, created a special, life-long friendship explaining that camp helped them “bond, grow stronger, and gain confidence.”
Viewers were surprised with a special appearance from Kermit the Frog (Kermit the Frog © Disney 2020) who said he’s “a big fan of camps, because of the fresh air, green trees, and delicious mosquitos…”. Viewers also enjoyed a unique performance from 17-time Grammy Award winner Sting, who performed his hit single ‘Every Breath You Take’.
The most inspiring moments came from the stories of the incredible campers themselves, and who together sang heart-warming renditions of Phillip Phillips’ ‘Home’ and Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Don’t Stop.’
The celebration is available to watch now online, where you can also donate to support the SeriousFun mission and keep the campfires burning. Over The Wall is proud to be part of Serious Fun Children’s Network, and would like to thank all our supporters, with special thanks to TCC Global for supporting the gala.