Throughout Give Kids The World Village, you’ll find venues, streets, and exciting attractions named after wish kids who have visited. And, our newest ride is no different!
On Valentine’s Day, we unveiled Kelly’s Sunny Swing, our new nine-person swing. The wheelchair-accessible ride is named after a child who visited in September 1993.
At Give Kids The World, Kelly’s days were filled with fun, giggles, and ice cream. The little girl who had been so sick for so long was now just a kid having the time of her life.
“We didn’t appear to be a family with a terminally ill child,” wrote Kelly’s mom. “She could be seen popping out of her wheelchair to skip or dance, and she frolicked in the swimming pool with her older, healthy sisters. She rode the most adventurous of rides and ate up a storm.”
Shortly after their trip, Kelly’s mom wrote a letter to Give Kids The World, describing how important the family’s time at the Village was – how the trip became a source of comfort and strength when Kelly passed away. The letter said:
“All the stress and heartache we’d been under in the previous weeks began to loosen its grip on us as we graciously received what felt like one giant hug from complete strangers.”
At the grand opening of Kelly’s Sunny Swing, President and CEO Pamela Landwirth spoke about Kelly and the letter from her mother, saying it “embodied everything that the Village means.” Pam carries the letter with her every day.
“It was a very special letter for me, it was a very special letter for Henri, our founder, and we’ve kept it very close to our hearts.”
Now, Kelly will be in the heart of every child who visits Give Kids The World and laughs on her Sunny Swing for years to come.