Dance clinic serves as cover up for Make-a-Wish unveiling - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Dance clinic serves as cover up for Make-a-Wish unveiling

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -  There's not much better than surprising a child with something they've wished for, as they would say, 'their entire lives.'

However, when that surprise is a once in a lifetime gift they never saw coming, that beats them all.

11-year-old Michaela loves to dance. It was obvious enough from the smile on her face as she performed in front of hundreds at the Jonesboro High School auditorium during their big double-header Tuesday night.

The setting was perfect for her Make-A-Wish unveiling. Michaela, however, was completely unaware of what was about to happen.

Everything had been planned perfectly.

Earlier that week, Michaela had attended a dance clinic with the JHS Dance Team.

She thought their performance Tuesday night was part of that event.

Little did she know, when she was announced as the superstar dancer during the game, an even bigger surprise awaited her.

Michaela was asked to read her award aloud to the crowd.

As she did, the plan for her Make-A-Wish unveiling went into motion. Disney characters galore, lined up behind her, waiting for her to read that last line of the plaque.

"Your wish has been granted with Make-A-Wish," Michaela read.

As the crowd began to cheer, Michaela turned to see Disney characters like Elsa and Olaf waiting to congratulate her.

Michaela's mom Julie told Region 8 News that the unveiling was overwhelming, but in a good way.

"When she read what the plaque she...started crying so...it's very exciting," Julie said. "I know that they were happy tears. not tears because she's not feeling well."

A gymnasium full of people, witness to the power of a wish.

Though it's not easy to tell, behind that bright smile, she doesn't always feel well. Michaela suffers from a number of disorders that attack everything from the connective tissues of her body to her nervous system.

Even walking can be tiring but that doesn't stop her.

"She loves to be active," Julie said. "She doesn't let nothing knock her down."

Ellie Stafford has been raising money for Make-A-Wish for nearly 10 years and sponsored Michaela's gift.

Stafford said similar to Michaela's hard work, all the work put in to Make-A-Wish fundraising is worth it at that one moment when a child realizes their wish is coming true.

"I love just seeing the looks on their faces when we surprise them...this entire organization just warms my heart."

Stafford raised that money for Michaela's Wish in 2014 through social media and a "Dance and Pageant Boot Camp for Make-A-Wish".

Friday, the 17th Annual Have-a-Heart Wish-a-Thon will take place throughout Region 8.

Last year, Region 8 raised $323,725.


Copyright 2015 KAIT. All Rights Reserved.

  • Region 8 News</span><a class="customMoreLink" href="/Global/category.asp?C=4391" target="_top">More >></a>Region 8 NewsMore>>

  • Harbor Freight to open new store in Batesville

    Harbor Freight to open new store in Batesville

    Wednesday, June 20 2018 11:04 PM EDT2018-06-21 03:04:05 GMT
    Wednesday, June 20 2018 11:34 PM EDT2018-06-21 03:34:27 GMT
    Harbor Freight (Source: Harbor Freight website)Harbor Freight (Source: Harbor Freight website)

    A California-based tool retailer will be opening a 15,000-square-foot store in Northeast Arkansas later this year, company officials said Wednesday. 

    A California-based tool retailer will be opening a 15,000-square-foot store in Northeast Arkansas later this year, company officials said Wednesday. 

  • Alive After Five set for June 21

    Alive After Five set for June 21

    Wednesday, June 20 2018 10:37 PM EDT2018-06-21 02:37:55 GMT
    Wednesday, June 20 2018 10:59 PM EDT2018-06-21 02:59:59 GMT
    Downtown Jonesboro Association (Source: Downtown Jonesboro Association Facebook page)Downtown Jonesboro Association (Source: Downtown Jonesboro Association Facebook page)
    Downtown Jonesboro Association (Source: Downtown Jonesboro Association Facebook page)Downtown Jonesboro Association (Source: Downtown Jonesboro Association Facebook page)

    Anyone interested in art, music and visiting Downtown Jonesboro will have an opportunity June 21 with the monthly Alive After Five event. 

    Anyone interested in art, music and visiting Downtown Jonesboro will have an opportunity June 21 with the monthly Alive After Five event. 

  • Independence County K9 officers receive body armor

    Independence County K9 officers receive body armor

    Wednesday, June 20 2018 10:03 PM EDT2018-06-21 02:03:44 GMT
    Wednesday, June 20 2018 10:57 PM EDT2018-06-21 02:57:28 GMT
    The K-9 officers with the Independence Co. Sheriff's Office recently received body armor due to a donation from a Massachusetts-based group. (Source: Facebook)The K-9 officers with the Independence Co. Sheriff's Office recently received body armor due to a donation from a Massachusetts-based group. (Source: Facebook)
    The K-9 officers with the Independence Co. Sheriff's Office recently received body armor due to a donation from a Massachusetts-based group. (Source: Facebook)The K-9 officers with the Independence Co. Sheriff's Office recently received body armor due to a donation from a Massachusetts-based group. (Source: Facebook)

    The K-9 officers with an area sheriff's department now have body armor to protect them. 

    The K-9 officers with an area sheriff's department now have body armor to protect them. 

Powered by Frankly