Wish comes true for Bonsall girl
Last updated 2/8/2007 at Noon
As 5-year-old Maureen of Bonsall exited her white limousine on Sunday, January 29, adorned in her elegant, shimmery ballerina apparel, her very own “Prince Charming” and a character dressed as Cinderella greeted her, prepared to escort her through the doors of Chateau Dragoo Castle at Belle Marie Winery in Escondido. At first, Maureen was a bit reluctant about soiling her new ballerina slippers, but Prince Charming assured this ‘wish’ child all would be fine.
Maureen’s eyes twinkled as she crossed the threshold of the heavy castle doors, knowing her wish finally came true. Maureen’s battle with leukemia was a distant thought, as this day was filled with hopes and dreams. And thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of San Diego, Maureen’s wish became a reality. Make-A-Wish Foundation of San Diego is a non-profit organization whose mission is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions and to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.
The Chateau Dragoo Castle was decorated with large pink balloons and silk flower topiaries, tulle, ribbons, crowns, tiaras, boas and glitter, which transformed this castle into a pink ballerina princess wonderland.
Prior to Maureen’s ballerina princess initiation ceremony, she and her friend gathered to the royal vanity area, where the Cinderella character assisted in the glitter and jewelry application. The girls sipped on sparkling cider from their very own champagne flutes, and ogled at the princess jewels.
Tears of joy and happiness flowed from Maureen’s parents. Maureen’s father, Scott, gazed in pure astonishment at the decor and at his little girl getting prepared for her ceremony. “I just can’t believe this,” he said. “It’s amazing.”
Once Maureen was officially pleased with her glitter and jewelry finishing touches, Prince Charming announced the ceremony was about to commence. While everyone took their seats in anticipation, Prince Charming escorted Maureen to her pastel green velvety thrown. “I’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” said Maureen, staring up towards the staircase. With her favorite Disney tunes playing in the background, one by one, her favorite princesses descended the stairs, curtsied for Maureen and gave her a gift. Characters dressed as Cinderella, Snow White, Belle, Sleeping Beauty, and Ariel encircled Maureen. “I’ve been dreaming about this,” chimed Maureen. She then eyed Ariel. “I dreamt about you last night,” said Maureen, grinning.
Prince Charming announced another special visitor. “Our final honored guest is a princess from far, far away - the beautiful Ballerina Princess.” An awestruck Maureen watched the Ballerina Princess descend the stairs, carrying a decorative pink pillow with a pearl tiara resting atop. As the Ballerina Princess placed the tiara on Maureen, she initiated her as an official ballerina princess. Each of the princesses sprinkled fairy dust on Ballerina Princess Maureen, and characterized her as a princess of love, beauty and great courage. Once the glitter dissipated, Prince Charming and the remainder of the princess entourage encircled Maureen and sang: A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes.
Following the initiation ceremony, the guests were escorted upstairs to a Royal Princess Tea Party, hosted by Mrs. Burton’s Tea Room of San Diego. Owner of the lovely Victorian tea house, Judy Peterson, prepared a decadent high tea, with an array of scrumptious tea sandwiches, scones, seasonal fruit, hand-decorated cream puffs and mint brownies. The ballerina-theme centerpieces enhanced the pink linens and chairs embellished with tulle, ribbons and silk flowers.
After the Royal Tea Party, Ballerina Princess Maureen laughed with her guests, while Joey the Magician from the Trick Shop in Temecula entertained the group. When asked, Maureen would wave her magic wand to assist Joey in the performance.
The festivities ended with the Royal Ball, where Prince Charming had the honor of dancing with Ballerina Princess Maureen. “Maureen will never forget this,” said Scott, gazing lovingly at his daughter. Prince Charming invited the other guests to join in the merriment, and in no time at all, many were twirling on the dance floor. The last dance, of course, was saved for Ballerina Princess Maureen and her father. Maureen’s mother, Jami, beamed with pure happiness as she watched.
Before Ballerina Princess Maureen and her family were whisked away in their limousine, Maureen was asked which part of the day was her favorite. Her eyes opened wider as she arrived at an answer. “All of it!” she cheered, waving her royal wand.
Writer’s note: Maureen’s Wish Day and Presentation Day could not have been a success without the generous help and donation of our community members. Wish granters Stacey Pappas and Christina Macone-Greene would like to thank the following wonderful people and organizations: Belle Marie Winery, Judy and Henry Peterson from Mrs. Burton’s Tea Room, Trick Shop, Bashful Balloons, Pottery Barn Kids in San Diego, Bombay Kids in Carlsbad, Edgewater Grill, Cinderella Carriage Ride, First Class Limousine, Amy Pitotti, MyFancyPrincess.com, Visual Photography, Prince Charming and all the characters dressed as the princesses. Hugs to you all!
Since its inception in 1983, the San Diego chapter has granted more than 2,000 wishes to children in San Diego and Imperial Counties. To learn more about Make-A-Wish, please visit http://www.wishsandiego.org.