Kutztown 7th grader surprised with Make A Wish trip to Disney World
Disney princesses and characters add little Disney magic to celebration for Sarah Kent, 12
A Kutztown Area Middle School student received the surprise of her life on Sept. 29. Sarah Kent, 12, and her family are headed to Disney World through the Make A Wish Foundation.
To start the festivities, Sarah and her family had a very special send-off from the faculty and students of Kutztown Area Middle School. Posters, balloons, tiaras, and all the Disney princesses and characters imaginable were there to add a little Disney magic to this celebration.
Sarah, a student in the middle school’s life skills classroom, has Ohdo Syndrome, an extremely rare disorder that creates developmental, speech, and intellectual delays. There are only 100 known cases in the world. Hallie Schumacher, a guidance counselor at KAMS and the master of ceremonies for this event, said this send-off was a perfect way to celebrate a very special girl.
“Sarah is a sweet, kind, funny, loving young lady. She is a character and loves to have fun and loves to joke with everyone. She makes you smile as soon as you see her in a classroom or hallway. Though she faces many challenges, she is a fighter and meets those challenges each day with a positive attitude and tremendous spirit! This is our second student in the last two years to have a Make A Wish granted, so we feel incredibly blessed and fortunate as a school.”
Sarah’s teachers, Mrs. Dawn Starolis and Mrs. Joanne Waidelich, began planning this event as soon as they found out Sarah was granted her Make A Wish to Disney. Raschelle (Shelly) Bean, Sarah’s personal care nurse, who dressed as Olaf for the celebration, was the one who submitted the Make A Wish application.
“The idea was in my mind for some time since I started work-
ing with Sarah five years ago. This is quite special for Sarah since she has had so many challenges and obstacles to overcome in her short 12 years. She’s a people person and she loves anything Disney so for her to be able to go see all of her favorite characters in real life she will be over the moon.”
Shelly also hopes Sarah and her family can have the time of their lives down in Disney World.
“All at Kutztown Middle School including myself hope Sarah and her family realize how much joy she brings to everyone and it’s a blessing to know her. We wish her all the happiness in the world during this next week and hope it’s filled with lots of excitement and adventure!”
To add to the ceremony, a video was played on the big screen, with multiple Disney princesses speaking directly to Sarah, expressing their desire to meet her. Also, the Middle School Jazz Band and Jazz Choir, under the direction of Shannon Sunday and Carl Zeplin, added to the Disney magic by playing and singing the Disney favorite “Be Our Guest” from “Beauty and the Beast.” The festivities continued throughout the day, as there were many fun events planned in the life skills classroom.
Joanne Waidelich said after Sarah went back to the classroom, a special guest, Cinderella, came for Sarah’s coronation and do an interactive story with the class. There was castle pizza and a cake. In the afternoon, they made string art Mickey faces with the help of the art homeroom and painted pumpkins donated by a para in the school.
“As a staff, we try to impress upon our students to be kind first,” Schumacher said. “We always impress upon our students to be a Hero on the Hill here at (KAMS), which means to always find a way to help or brighten someone’s day. There is no better way to demonstrate that mantra than by celebrating Sarah with a show of love and support.”
Sarah and her family will spend the next week at Disney World getting the royal treatment. Thanks to the kindness and love from Sarah’s peers and teachers at Kutztown Area Middle School, that royal treatment was able to start a little bit early. Brady Tucker is a senior at Kutztown High School and an intern at Kutztown Patriot.
Kutztown 7th grader Sarah Kent, 12, was surprised with Make A Wish trip to Disney World. Teachers dressed up as Disney characters for the celebration on Sept. 29. Her classmates joined in the Disney fun.
Banner for Kutztown 7th grader Sarah Kent, 12, who was surprised with Make A Wish trip to Disney World.
Kutztown 7th grader Sarah Kent, 12, was surprised with Make A Wish trip to Disney World. Teachers dressed up as Disney characters for the celebration on Sept. 29.
Kutztown 7th grader Sarah Kent, 12, was surprised with Make A Wish trip to Disney World. Raschelle (Shelly) Bean, Sarah’s personal care nurse, dressed as Olaf for the celebration.