Reilly Albertson won’t tell you which Disney princess is her favorite one.
Belle? Cinderella? Aurora?
The little 5-year-old girl just smiles without giving an answer. She’ll spend her sixth birthday this week spending time with the princesses, and maybe she’ll choose a favorite then. But it’s unlikely, as the trip with her parents is a wish come true.
And a wish that wouldn’t have been possible without the support of people throughout North Central West Virginia.
Reilly, a spina bifida patient, has been given the chance to visit the princesses and Mickey Mouse and Walt Disney World this week through the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northern West Virginia. Julie Albertson, Reilly’s mother, said she was thankful for all the support the family received from Make-A-Wish and the community an event held this weekend in Fairmont.
“Reilly’s journey hasn’t always been a smooth one,” she said. “This just kinda gives us an opportunity to get away from the doctors and the day-to-day stuff here and just relax and enjoy a vacation as a family.”
You wouldn’t have been able to tell about that long journey if you met Reilly, the little blonde-haired girl with a bright pink sweater and a brighter smile. She spent the evening collecting golden horseshoe decorations from the tables at the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Derby Days fundraising event on Friday. She collected four of the horseshoes and hooked them on one extended arm.
“Look!” she said in an excited voice. “I can still wheel my wheelchair and balance these on one arm!”
Each year, Make-A-Wish Northern West Virginia grants between 62 and 65 life-changing wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions. These wish experiences can be pivot points in the course of a child’s treatment, making them feel better and, in some cases, helping them get better. A wish-come-true strengthens families, provides moments of happiness and inspiration, and helps create strong community bonds.
If you were unable to make it to Fairmont’s fundraiser, you can still help make wishes come true for young ones to come.
World Wish Day on Monday is a chance for you to donate dollars or airline miles to fund airline tickets for wishes that involve travel.
“So many of our wishes require airline miles,” said Marian Silverstein, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northern West Virginia. “We want the community to understand that with travel expenses, we need these miles.
“Air travel is a critical resource as we work to grant the heartfelt — and oftentimes very creative — wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.
“Donating airline miles or dollars will allow us to continue creating thousands of lasting moments for children with life-threatening medical conditions.”
On Monday, you can visit www.nwestva.wish.org or www.wish.org/tickets to donate dollars or frequent flier miles.
WWE star John Cena will personally match every frequent flier mile donated in April, up to 4.5 million. United Airlines will also support World Wish Day by matching the donations of its MileagePlus members, up to 3 million miles, through April 30.
So donate those miles and dollars to make wishes come true. With all of the grown-up conversations and hospital stays and painful procedures, little ones like Reilly deserve the chance to leave it all behind and be a princess for a day.
Reilly Albertson won’t tell you which Disney princess is her favorite one.
Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely
The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.
- Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer
Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life
Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.
COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?
Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.
Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions
This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Soup Opera in need of your support again this time of year
It’s happening again.
It usually always happens about this time each year. Sometimes it’s a little earlier and sometimes a little later.
But Soup Opera executive director Shelia Tennant knows it will come — usually in July. And she’s never that surprised about it.
County honors men who gave all in helping their community
The next time you’re driving in the Rivesville area, you might notice new signs on two of the area’s bridges.
Those signs, which bear the names of Alex Angelino and Denzil O. Lockard, were unveiled Saturday in honor of the men whose names they display, two men who died while serving their communities.
The bridge on U.S. 19 over Paw Paw Creek was named to honor Lockard, while the bridge on U.S. 19 over Pharaoh Run Creek was named to honor Angelino. Lockard, a former Rivesville police chief, died in 1958 at the age of 48 while directing traffic. Angelino, a Rivesville firefighter, died at the age of 43 of a heart attack while fighting a fire in 1966.
State must learn to keep costs down and perform more efficiently on less
The West Virginia state government began its budget year last Tuesday with a small surplus of $40 million — less than 1 percent of its annual tax revenues — thanks only to dipping into its savings.
Let’s not do that again.
Long-range vision with transportation has been made to be thing of proud past
Last week’s closure of Fairmont’s Fourth Street Bridge is a symbol of a problem that must be fixed.
The United States should be proud of the vision its leaders once displayed to address the country’s transportation needs.
Back in 1954, for example, President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced his goal of an interstate highway system — something that transformed the country.
COLUMN: Who would leave animal in sweltering car?
I was standing and debating between two brands of a product in a big box store when I heard a call over the intercom:
“Will the owner of a green Cavalier with a dog inside please report to the lawn and garden center.”
I shook my head. I hate seeing dogs in cars waiting while their owners shop. About five minutes later, there was another announcement over the intercom.
- More Opinion Headlines
- Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely