Decorating at Castle Hill Brings Holidays to the Hospital

Every year we decorate with origami cranes, hand-folded by local volunteers, for Christmas at Castle Hill on the Crane Estate, a Trustees of Reservations property in Ipswich, MA.

Each year, the stately home with its sweeping grounds, overlooking  Plum Island Sound and Atlantic Ocean, tantalizes visitors with Christmas-themed lights and flourishes. Several florists and decorators volunteer to create customized arrangements and vignettes in the historic rooms on the first and second floors. Visitors can imagine sitting down at the dining table,  stepping into a veritable wonderland, or slipping upstairs for a private moment in the bedroom. Fresh floral creativity and decorative installations draw out the holiday theme. Every year, our organization decorates the grand staircase.

This year we’re welcoming “Christmas by the Sea.” Bright Happy Power is filling the grand staircase with starfish, flowing currents of ribbon, air bubbles, and a swirl of paper birds. Watch for photos!

This installation is sponsored by Institution for Savings. Their underwriting of the Christmas event at Castle Hill allows Bright Happy Power to provide winter holiday programming at Children’s Hospital Boston. The hospital’s holiday program — kick-started by Bright Happy Power and inspired by the book and  movie Polar Express — has become a hospital-wide event during December. From the original one-day party on the oncology and stem cell/bone marrow transplant wings, it has expanded to several days of festive activities and is celebrated throughout the hospital’s inpatient units.

This hospital holiday event, funded by the sponsorship of our installation at Castle Hill, brings hope and happiness  to pediatric patients and their families during the winter season! What a wonderful trade-off: our volunteers spend a few days  decorating for Christmas, in turn Bright Happy Power provides the launch-point for a much-cherished holiday celebration at the hospital! One specialists calls it her favorite week of the year at the hospital.

Every paper bird folded, every dollar donated, and every wish bell delivered … makes a difference to children and families who need the opportunity to BELIEVE!


Zoo Day

Bright Happy Power is bringing a handful of volunteers to the hospital to host an event called Zoo Day. Patients and sibs can stuff their own animals, enjoy crafts and snacks, and take a break from life on treatment. Builds morale and emotional resilience.


This nonprofit has been operating since 2007, and has accomplished the following projects:

  • Family and patient programming at Childrens Hospital Boston for oncology, hematology, and transplant units: holiday and seasonal events with crafts, activities, games
  • Support for pediatric  patients at Mass General, Dana Farber, Childrens Hospital Boston, Maine Medical Laura Bush Children’s Hospital, Beverly Hospital, and other regional hospitals and clinics
  • Trained high school volunteers who have gone on to pursue medical or child development careers
  • Established community events that celebrate life and remember loved ones:
  • Direct support for families living with cancer and other challenges: meals and gift cards for meals, toiletries, books, games and interactive educational tools such as iPads, parking passes, and financial assistance
  • Sibling and family support with access to concerts and events with Dana Farber’s Jimmy Fund Clinic
  • Provided childlife resources such as books, soccer balls, and toys for children being treated for burns and cleft palates by international teams such as Rotaplast
  • Developed a grief therapy for surviving siblings
  • Fundraising for cancer research and treatment with Pan Mass Challenge/PMC as part of Team Kermit: Chris Doktor and Sarah Doktor
  • Support for research for rare diseases such as CMTJ4

About Bright Happy Power

Bright Happy Power is a small nonprofit 501(c)3 (ID #26-1668751) that aims to place hope, happiness and empowerment into the hands and lives of children and families facing life-threatening and catastrophic challenges. It was co-founded by Sarah, Gail, and Chris Doktor, inspired by the life of Sarah’s sister and Chris and Gail’s daughter Jessie, who lived with leukemia. Our organization was named among the One Hundred by Mass General Hospital for its service to cancer families.

Contact us: Bright Happy Power, 49 North Main St, Ipswich, MA 01938.

Find us on Facebook.

Email us.


Upcoming Events with Bright Happy Power

Bright Happy Power has several upcoming events.

  1. Monday, April 16, Jessie’s sister Sarah Doktor will volunteer in a medical tent at the Boston Marathon. Sarah has pursued a career in nursing, inspired by her younger sister’s journey with childhood cancer, as well as her work with various populations in the field of emergency medicine and public health.
    Our family’s connection to the Boston Marathon goes back to 2002, the first year that Dr William Tan, a wheelchair athlete from Singapore, partnered with Jessie to compete in the Marathon and raise funds for Childrens Hospital Boston. He continued to race every year, and notably carried Jessie across the finish line on his lap in his regular push chair one year.  He shared his medals with Jessie, her sister Sarah. Ironically, Dr. Tan was diagnosed with leukemia, and spent time undergoing chemo, radiation and a successful bone marrow transplant, before once more returning to the United States for several years to compete again in the Marathon.Other athletes have also raced in honor of and memory of Jessie, raising funds for Mass General Hospital and Dana Farber.
  2. In June 2018, Sarah Doktor, co-founder of Bright Happy Power, will host an event for cancer and transplant patients at Childrens Hospital Boston with volunteers with food, crafts, and games. The theme is “zoo day”.
  3. In August 2018, Chris Doktor and Sarah Doktor will ride again in the Pan Mass Challenge to raise funds and awareness for cancer research and treatment. Click on their names to support their rides. They have been riding as a father-daughter team for 10 years. They now ride as part of Team Kermit.

Boston Marathon

For several years, wheelchair athlete Dr William Tan and several runners such as Jason Wertz have participated in the Boston Marathon in celebration of Jessie’s life and to help with fundraising for Bright Happy Power and local area hospitals such as Mass General and Childrens Hospital Boston. We have been partners in the Boston Marathon since 2008.

Polar Express Week

Annually Bright Happy Power provides interactive games and activities, along with “wish bells” for patients treated at Childrens Hospital Boston, in honor of the Polar Express book that is read and the associated movie that is viewed each year at the holiday. From our modest events on oncology/hematology, this event has grown to become a hospital-wide event available to patients and families on all units with pajamas, gifts, stories, games and activities, largely sponsored by Mission One and other nonprofits.

Floating Wish Lanterns

Volunteers fold wax paper boats in which we place tealights and handwritten wishes to float out onto the darkened Ipswich River. Annually we float about 500 wishes out onto the river. Look for the event again this autumn in Ipswich, MA.