“Dream Day is a chance for terminally ill children to escape the medical setting of their everyday life and be the center of attention in a way that let’s them just be kids, not sick kids. For some, this was the last time they would leave a hospital” – Kyle Scott
“Come with me and you’ll be, In a world of Pure imagination
Take a look And you’ll see Into your imagination”
Hold your breath Make a wish Count to three…
Imagine if you will 30 kids delivered into a dreams or fantasy that have chosen . That was my day today, trooping the PRI Productions event called Dream Day. As the quote above states these kids have terminal conditions. So today was all about them. So let me set the stage as it were. What each child saw as they were delivered to a dream like place.
Each child and their parents would show up at the parking garage. Each child was place in their dream car. Some picked limos and some hot rods, monster trucks and even cop cars. As each child pulled up to the entrances they could hear about 50 people clapping and cheering. As they exited the car a big bill board across the street displayed their name with dazzling effects. An escort led them to a red carpet where Willy Wonka greeted them and started sing the above song “Pure Imagination” from the original Willy Wonk movie and took the child by hand and walk down the long rows of people and character dressed for the event. We had fairies, princesses and the good witch from the wizard of oz, south paw mascot with spider man and of course Storm troopers and a biker scout along with three R2 droids.
As Willy walked the carpet the child’s eye were wide with surprise and overwhelming happiness. The person who played Willy Wonka was amazing with these kids. Quickly he determined the best way to integrate the child’s ability to participate in the wonderful walk to the building. Some of the children walked down holding hands with Willy, others were small enough he picked them up and carried them so they could take in all that they were seeing. Some were pushed in a wheel chair and he would help the excited child by slowing them down and so they could take in everything they were seeing. Then as they got to the door Willy explained that beyond those doors was their special dreams and they could enter and enjoy their very special day.
It was amazing to watch each child come through the gate and be greeted and see the overwhelming looks on their faces. I was stationed close to the front and had a great view of the children as they were delivered and escorted to the dream building. As they exited from their dream ride the crowed would start clapping and cheering as they passed us by. As amazing as this event was in terms of creating this fantastic illusion and fantasy I was not ready for the emotions that would hit you when you saw the reality of the condition of some of the kids.
Its was heart breaking, it was overwhelming and you could see it in the faces of their parents as they were stressing to get their child ready for this event. But the moment Willy Wonka took the child from the parent’s, their faces changed from stressed to excitement and celebration. at this moment all the pain, stress and sadness faded away for just a moment. Some smiled, clapped and cheered and other mostly mothers cried, tears of joy. Tears that said thank you for this, all of this. My child is happy and smiling on this day.
The tears were not one sided. My station put me next to Jaguars cheerleaders and overlaid on their smiles were tears, tears that showed they cared and as for me. Well not that anybody could see because of my helmet. There were a few tears that were shed as I watched each of the 30 children past me by. They were so brave, so motivated and you would not think that what they were going through was that tough. But we knew it was, it was very real and they would have to return to that life after they left this wonderful special day. So it was all of our mission to create and cement the dream in their minds to take with them as they faced their greatest challenge. After every child was inside the building the dreams started to take place.
As I understood it each child had a fantasy or dream. So inside there was an area for each of them. A place where they would get gifts just for them and a costumes that they picked. There were rooms all around that were amazing. There was a tea party room. The children could sit and have a tea party with a princesses. They could get ice cream with many fantastic flavors. There were a whole host of places in there that catered to their wishes. Truly, truly their dreams did come true, if only for a day.
The photo below are a small gallery of the day. There will be some amazing photos and video that were taken by PRI Productions. I will link to them as the become available so check back from time to time to see this special even in video.
Photographer: Rob Semos
Here is a slide show of the Kids getting there gold ticket to attend the event: Click Here
PRI Productions website: http://www.priproductions.com/