Bubble Ball 2023 Raises Record of $1.19M

ChildServe‘s 13th Annual Bubble Ball Sets Des Moines Fundraising Gala Record

Photo by Maharry Photography

At ChildServe’s Bubble Ball 2023, sponsors, designers and performers hit it out of the park with a record-breaking event. Attendees enjoyed the evening filled with wearable and stationary BUBBLE WRAP® designs, live music, delicious food and a play-filled runway show.

Thanks to the generosity of our amazing sponsors and donors, Bubble Ball 2023 raised $1.19 million to help children with special healthcare needs live a great life! Not only was this a first in ChildServe history, but the event also set the record for donations made during a fundraising gala event in the Des Moines metro.

This year the runway show, themed Let’s Play, featured unique, sports-themed BUBBLE WRAP® designs. Local designers brought Bubble Ball guests out to the ballgame with their sports-inspired BUBBLE WRAP® creations. From baseball and football to gymnastics and synchronized swimming, the event was packed with fierce talent and spirited BUBBLE WRAP® costumes. Proceeds from the evening will be utilized to fund an adaptive playground available for all children and families receiving care and services at ChildServe – for those who may be receiving outpatient therapy services like Charlie, those who attend daily programs such as the Autism Day Program or Day Habilitation Program, and those who reside in one of ChildServe’s inpatient units.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory made of bubble wrap

Photo by Maharry Photography

ChildServe CEO Teri Wahlig, MD, poses with Bubble Ball Co-Chairs, Tom Stewart and Kim Willis.

Photo by Maharry Photography

Special guest, Bennett joins ChildServe CEO Teri Wahlig, MD, onstage to welcome the guests at Bubble Ball.

“At ChildServe, we know play is an essential part of building a child’s physical, cognitive and social skills. Play is really our brain’s favorite way of learning,” said Teri Wahlig, M.D., ChildServe CEO. “Because play is such an important part of so many aspects of what we do here at ChildServe, this year, we are planning and designing a first-of-its-kind adaptive playground on our Johnston campus.”

The beautifully designed outdoor space and play area will be viewed from the room windows of children and teens in Jojo’s Pediatric Rehabilitation Unit, as well as ChildServe’s long-term care units. On a daily basis, more than 200 children and young adults will play, learn and grow through playground features that are age and developmentally appropriate. The entire playground area will have secure fencing and access points under surveillance.

“We are incredibly grateful to our Bubble Ball event sponsors and attendees who made this evening not only a night to remember but will make an adaptive playground possible at ChildServe’s main campus,” said Kim Willis, Bubble Ball Co-Chair, philanthropist and community volunteer. “The spirit of philanthropy in the Des Moines community is unparalleled and is making a huge, lasting impact for Iowa children and families.”

For additional information on how you can support this important project, visit our Giving page.

Want to see this event yourself?


Check out the 2023 Photo Gallery to see the bubble wrap creations.

In the News

Click below to see news coverage of the event.


Save the Date

Most importantly, save the date for next year’s event! Join us on Saturday, April 20, 2024, at Hy-Vee Hall.


ChildServe improves the health and well-being of 4,600 children each year through specialized clinical, home, and community-based programs and services. We serve children with developmental delays, disabilities, injuries, and other special healthcare needs.

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