Special Bill Gaither Special Shown in Rector

RECTOR- The songs of praise from music's finest Christian singers.

It's all part of the "Bill Gaither Campfire Homecoming" that will be released in 2008 worldwide.

But one community here in Arkansas is getting a sneak peek, and a chance to see one of their own on the big screen.

"When I got down there, I was in awe. I did not know what was going on. He kept it a secret," said Ariel Dooley.

12-year-old Ariel Dooley of Rector suffers from a spinal disorder known as Spina Bifida.

It was her dream to meet singer, Bill Gaither.

"It was difficult to keep it from her, but we knew if she knew, she wouldn't sleep. So, all the way we just told her she was going to a picnic. It's a long ways to Nashville for a picnic, but just the look on her face was worth it all. It was pretty amazing," said Helping Hands Board Member and Ariel's Uncle, Joey Pruett.

Ariel didn't only meet gaither, but she got her own segment in the special.

"Everybody is calling me a movie star," said Dooley.

And quite a few stars have come out of Rector.

The Helping Hands Foundation is backed by dozens of Rector alumni now working around the nation.

Co-founder Bill Carter, who is producing the Gaither video is among others who saw a need in their community.

"To see that disadvantaged kids have the opportunities they should have, I think is one of the most rewarding experiences of serving on this board," said board member Leland Blackshare.

He says after teaching for years in small communities, joining up with Helping Hands was a blessing.

"To me, this is No Child Left Behind. This is the reality of No Child Left Behind. It's not a federal law, it's an organization that helps people," said Blackshare.

Currently the group has served more than 120 children.

And if you would like to attend the premier screening, it will begin at 7:00 p.m. on New Year's Eve.

It's being shown at the Rector Community Center and is expected to last about an hour and a half.

Again no tickets are needed, but donations will be accepted.

Story ideas or comments?  Email Will at wcarter@kait8.com.