BY HANNAH SAAD- Paducah Sun
When one little girl could not make the trip to Disney World with her family due to chronic health conditions, a group of McCracken County High School students decided to bring a little bit of Disney World to her and her classmates.
McCracken County High School’s chapter of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) helped put on a Disney-themed parade for Allie Salin and other kindergartners at Reidland Elementary School on Tuesday afternoon. Members of FCCLA dressed up as classic Disney princesses and characters like Cinderella and Prince Charming, and newer characters like Anna, Elsa and Olaf.
Allie, 5, was also given a brand-new Minnie Mouse-themed toy Jeep bought with funds raised by FCCLA. Lauren Williams, adviser to the FCCLA, said the organization raised about $1,500 from businesses around the area.
Williams said the planning for the parade started with Allie’s older sister, Kaylee Salin, a McCracken County student and FCCLA member. Kaylee Salin came to Williams to ask if FCCLA had a Minnie Mouse costume from previous events that her sister Allie could use, and Williams said the idea grew from there. FCCLA normally holds a princess fairy tale ball event, and had Disney costumes stored from that event.
“I said, ‘well we’ll just do a ‘Make-a-Wish’ [style of event] for Allie. I talked to her teacher, and it just kind of grew from there, with inviting all the kindergarten classes, and we’ve just gotten so much community support,” Williams said.
Kindergartners, many of who came dressed up as princes, princesses, cowboys and superheroes, spent the afternoon going to different stations and doing fun activities with some of their favorite Disney characters. They made wands with Flora, Fauna and Merryweather, the three fairies from “Sleeping Beauty;” had a snowball fight with Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf; received autographs from Disney princesses and princes; and ate Mickey Mouse-shaped cookies and snacks made by culinary students at McCracken County High School.
Natero said Allie was born premature and has a chronic lung condition that requires her to use a ventilator at times during the day and all night as her lungs continue to grow and develop. Because of this health condition, Allie is unable to join some of her family on a trip to Disney World in a couple weeks.
Natero is grateful to all the school officials who accommodate her daughter and is grateful to FCCLA for organizing the event. She is especially proud of her older daughter, Kaylee Salin, who is part of FCCLA and helped organize the event.
“The feelings are overwhelming. I’m very proud of [Kaylee], with everything she does. She can take care of her sister better than a nurse can take care of her sister,” Natero said.