After just entering remission from a two and a half year battle with leukemia, eight-year-old Alyssa was eager for an opportunity to dance, sing and laugh with her friends. So she made her special wish for a celebration to include just about everyone she knew—friends, family, and even her teachers were cordially invited to Alyssa’s very own princess ball.
It all started at the Doubletree Hotel in Missoula, MT, where Alyssa and nine of her closest friends arrived to start their day with a lunch at the hotel restaurant. Afterwards, the ten girls were escorted to their hotel room to change into their party gowns. A limousine arrived to whisk Alyssa and her friends to a salon for hair styling and manicure-pedicures. Alyssa donned her sparkling princess tiara and began her transformation into a darling princess. With hair curled and pinned and nails polished, Alyssa was ready to start her evening in style. But all that glitter and glam didn’t steal her silly spirit; she got all her friends to join her in singing their favorite lyrics as the limo rolled down the streets of Missoula.
Guests had already begun to arrive as Alyssa and her entourage pulled up to a red carpet. She smiled and waved as the paparazzi flashed photos of the princess and her friends. “They looked like they were going to prom!” said Julie.
The party itself was complete with every detail Alyssa had imagined—down to the colors of ribbons, the tiers of the cake, and the endless stream of the chocolate fountain. Two-hundred guests arrived to show their love for Alyssa and to enjoy the night with her. They were met with a festival fit for a queen.
Alyssa moved with grace and delight from one activity to the next—she was wowed by a magician, inspired by a face painting artist, elated by the Nintendo Wii and karaoke sets, and was moved to her feet by a DJ who played all of her songs. In the background, a slideshow of pictures of her treatment and battle with cancer were projected onto a giant screen, reminding everyone of the truly inspirational nature of their favorite little star.
For Julie, the best part of the day was seeing the sparkle in her daughter eyes and a smile from ear to ear. “There wasn’t a second of the day she didn’t have a smile on her face,” said Julie. “It was a smile I haven’t seen in two and a half years. And it just wouldn’t have happened without Make-A-Wish®.”
Special thanks to her volunteers: Debb Clark and Rachael Krebsbach