MaKayla’s New Ride

IMG_4314bcloseup_of_van_By Michael Williams

The prayers of a local family were answered in a most unexpected manner. Two weeks ago, Dec. 21, 2013, Adam Glenn received a phone call from David Fee of Fee/Hedrick Entertainment. Glenn’s daughter, Makayla, suffers from cerebral palsy and was in dire need of a new van.  The van the family had been using was in need of repair. Fee told Glenn he could help the family and he instructed them to come to the Smoky Mountain Opry on Saturday afternoon where they would be given proceeds from a fundraiser.

   Three hours later, the Glenn family arrived at 2:30 p.m. The show started at 3 P.M. and the cast and crew at the Opry managed to raise $9,548 for the purchase of a van. The next morning the family was asked to come to the Blackwood Family Morning Show where an additional 452 was raised bringing the total to $10,000 raised for the purchase of the van.

   This past Thursday, the Glenn family returned to the Opry to pick up the keys to the specially equipped van. Vehicles for special needs kids cost between  $40,000-$50,000. The Glenn family was fortunate to be able to find a 2001 Town and Country van for the $10,000 they has on hand.

  “I am proud of the theater as a whole. This was a theater effort,” said David Fee. “I have a great appreciation for special needs children. I have a child that is autistic. My son goes to school with one of the Glenn’s children.”

  The van is specially equipped with lift ramp and hydraulics that raise and lower the vehicle for easier entry.

 “This was truly the hand of God at work,” said Ginger Glenn, MaKayla’s mother. “The generosity of Mr. Fee was truly amazing. The day of the fundraiser was magical.”

  The money for the van was raised through the sale of Holiday Candles at the theater. The candles are plastic and battery powered. The theater routinely sells the candles during the Christmas season for $5 and all proceeds go to local charities to help children in need. During MaKayla’s fundraiser, Fee brought the little girl and her mother up on stage and told the story to the audience. Film footage from a local TV station featuring MaKayla was shown on screens to the left and right of the stage. Fee explained to the audience the proceeds from the sale of the candles for that afternoon would be donated to the family for the purchase of a wheelchair accessible van. He asked that the audience pay whatever they wanted for the candles as there was no set price.

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