Fundraiser to help fill more Buckets of Smiles

Published 2:24 am Thursday, July 12, 2018

Ella Kate Nichols has been hard at work with her non-profit, Buckets of Smiles, recently delivering 60 buckets filled with activities and fun things for kids in hospitals.

Nichols plans to have a fundraiser July 28 at 6 p.m., to help raise money for Buckets of Smiles. The fundraiser will be a dinner and auction with entertainment.

“The main purpose of the fundraiser is to raise money for Buckets of Smiles,” Nichols said. “I get a lot of donations of items, but sometimes I don’t get them in time and it would be easier to buy the stuff myself, so this money would help me do that.”

Nichols started her journey fighting against childhood cancer in 2012, when her friend Tori was diagnosed with brain cancer.

“I realized how severely underfunded research for childhood cancer was,” Nichols said. “After seeing this, I wanted to make an impact by keeping children happy while they are in the hospitals.”

Nichols said that the community has been very supportive of the program.

“I have had so many people donate items for the buckets and I can’t thank them enough,” Nichols said. “I really hope we get a good turnout for the dinner.”

Sometimes being in hospitals and sickly situations can be disheartening, but Nichols tries to find the positive in every situation.

“During my last donation I got the chance to deliver some of my buckets to the children,” Nichols said. “There was one little boy that had the biggest smile on his face when he saw his bucket, because everything in it was everything he needed. Moments like those are what keep me going.”

The dinner’s entertainment will include several performances by Garrett Davis, Nichols and other high school students.

There will also be a live and silent auction at the event. The items in the auction include a Yeti Cooler, a Kendra Scott jewelry, sunglasses from Covington Eye Care, a free portrait session with Vickie Popwell, prints from Roger Powell, a guided quail hunt sponsored by Turkey Creek Quail and a guided duck hunt sponsored by Diamond Wings Lodge in Arkansas.

Nichols will presell tickets, but they will also be $10 at the door.

Using an approved list of items from the Children’s of Alabama in Birmingham, Nichols has a set list of items that are sorted by age appropriateness that people can donate.

Those items include small board books, teething rings, onesies, pop-up books, journals, Soduku, word searches, earbuds, pens and an assortment of giftcards. For a complete list, or to donate, visit or