AURORA — Area residents can have the opportunity to enjoy a holiday tea with friends and family, while raising funds for University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s, on Dec. 8 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Inn Walden in Aurora.

Hosted by the Circle of Friends of the Western Reserve, A Winterful Tea is something "for all ages" to enjoy, said Patty Owens of Aurora.

"We wanted to do a multigenerational event," Owens said.

One highlight will be decorated trees and wreaths, which will be available for purchase through a silent auction, Owens said. The trees were decorated by members of the American Society of Interior Designers Ohio North Chapter.

"It's nice we can use our creativity for such a great event," said Laura Suglia-Isgro, president of ASID. "It's a way to show off what we can do."

The event will include tea sandwiches, scones and sweets, as well as a variety of teas and a hot cocoa bar. Owens said local music groups also will come in to entertain guests, and younger guests can enjoy stories told by a surprise storyteller.

Ellie O’Donnell of Hudson, a member of the Circle of Friends, said she was planning to bring her mother and mother-in-law.

"This is a wonderful way to spend the holiday," O'Donnell said.

Owens said that the Circle of Friends of the Western Reserve was a group of women from Hudson and Aurora, which includes herself, O’Donnell, Sarah Filipovitz of Hudson, Meredith Hudec of Hudson, Julia Roubic, and Susie Schmitt of Hudson. In 1887, Owens said, nine women met on Thanksgiving Day to form an organization dedicated to caring for children in Cleveland.

"That organization eventually grew into the Rainbow Babies & Children’s Foundation we know today," Owens said. She added that the Circle of Friends was created "to follow the philanthropic grass-root tradition of these remarkable women."

Owens, who also serves the Rainbow Babies & Children’s Foundation as a trustee, and is chair of the Winterful host committee, said she also has a personal reason for wanting to support University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s. Twelve years ago, she spent 71 days in the hospital on bed rest after being diagnosed with oligohydramnios when she was 18 weeks pregnant with her son Gavin. Oligohydramnios is a condition where the amniotic fluid is considered too low, which can lead to both maternal and fetal complications.

"Doctors weren’t sure if Gavin would come out breathing, since amniotic fluid is essential for lung development," Owens said. "That is when I sought out the best care possible for myself and our unborn child at UH. Gavin, who was given a five percent chance of being born alive, is now a thriving soon-to-be 12-year-old at Harmon Middle School. Because of the remarkable care I received at UH MacDonald Women's Hospital and UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s, I want to give back to this organization that gave our family hope."

To purchase tickets which are $65, and $45 for children under 10 for A Winterful Tea, please visit or email Owens at

Inn Walden is at 1119 Aurora Hudson Road.

Reporter April Helms can be reached at 330-541-9423,, or @AprilKHelms_RPC