Sometimes it can be hard for Alessandra Bange-Hall to contain her holiday spirit.
“I put it together with another girl from the store and we had a great time,” Bange-Hall said as she adjusted ornaments on the Christmas tree in the storefront of her Piper Boutique. “People were taking photos of the tree when we were done; they just loved it.”
The colorful tree is among the brightest on Saratoga’s Broadway.
What You Need To Know
- Piper Boutique Owner Alessandra Bange-Hall is raffling off the Christmas tree currently in the storefront of her Piper Boutique in Saratoga Springs
- Bange-Hall is donating the proceeds of the raffle to the pediatric unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
- Bange-Hall, who suffers from a rare form of blood cancer, has been at the New York City hospital for five years
“Almost every single business has decorated early this year just to extend the holiday season more so than usual and make everyone a little bit happier,” Bange-Hall said.
The inspiration for the tree in front of the 10-year-old business came from the annual “Holiday Hallway” at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, which is meant to brighten the spirits of kids battling cancer.
“A lot of children who are there during the holiday season can’t leave, they can’t visit Santa, they can’t stuff a letter in the mailbox for the North Pole, so they recreate that in a bubble,” Bange-Hall said.
The hospital wasn’t able to build the walk this year because of the coronavirus.
“It’s really beautiful,” Bange-Hall said. “I had the opportunity to see it last year, and it is just amazing. It is a really emotional experience to see the kids.”
Bange-Hall is no stranger to Sloan Kettering. After a routine checkup 10 years ago at around the same time she was opening up the boutique, she was diagnosed with a rare chronic form of blood cancer.
“At 23, you don’t expect anything like that to happen, so it was definitely a wake-up call,” Bange-Hall said. “At the time, I felt the best I’d ever felt; I wasn’t symptomatic at all, which was extremely scary.”
After being told Sloan’s research funding is down about 75 percent during the pandemic, Bange-Hall decided to sell raffle tickets for her holiday tree and donate the proceeds to the hospital’s pediatric unit.
“I moved to Sloan about five years ago, and I’ve had incredible care,” Bange-Hall said. “I really can’t say enough about them, which is why I want to do the philanthropy for them.”
Raffle tickets will be for sale for $5 through Piper Boutique’s website until December 18. Bange-Hall is optimistic the winner will donate the tree back to Sloan, so it can be displayed at next year’s Holiday Walk.
“I always say ‘Santa is watching,’ so hopefully people will donate the tree,” she said.
By spreading a little extra holiday cheer, Bange-Hall and her customers are able to support a cause near and dear to her heart.
“It feels really good,” Bange-Hall said. “I think it feels good for the people who do the donation and see the tree; just Christmas makes everyone feel good.”