May in our family is always busy and filled with fun since not only was my daughter, Tess, born May 5, but her daughters: Cassie, 8 years old, born on May 1; and Athena, 13 years old, born on May 31 are May babies, too. This May in addition to the usual birthday festivities my littlest granddaughter, Cassie, got to have her wish granted by Kids Wish Network. The wish process began a couple years ago with "Make A Wish," who rejected her since she doesn't have a firm expiration date. Kids Wish Network takes kids who are healthy, but dealing with tons of complications, surgeries, etc. and tries to make a real bright spot for them. After being notified she was getting her wish she received a giant box of gifts from them, all specially chosen for her, along with a couple of things for Athena as well. (Kids Wish Network not only does wishes, they also do toy giveaway events for hospitalized kids and other kids with chronic illness at a number of locations throughout the year. I can't begin to tell you what a wonderful job they do.)
We were all blown away with how amazing Kids Wish Network is. Cassie could have chosen to go to Disneyland, Disneyworld, or any number of different things, instead she wanted to meet Howie Mandel. She has been absolutely in love with him since he started judging on America's Got Talent. Tess had let Kids Wish Network know he was coming to Lincoln City to perform, so they could try to do it here. (Tess is afraid to have Cassie fly, since we never know what will make her sick)
So when the time for her wish came, she went to Portland along with Athena, Tess and their dad, Brian and headed to the Oregon Zoo where she got another wish granted. She was treated like a princess, greeted by their hostess for the day and taken straight to the "Penguin House" where she went behind the scenes to feed the penguins. She actually sat on the floor, hand fed them fish and got to pet one. Since they are revamping the penguin exhibit, the polar bears are right there, too, and Cassie got to choose their toy for the day and watch one of the biologists work with them as well. They spent the night in a fancy hotel in Portland and met their Kids Wish Network Jill and headed to IHOP for Cassie's favorite food: Pancakes.
Of course they went back for more pancakes the next morning then headed for Build-A-Bear where Cassie got to build a special bear to remember her wish by.
They headed back to Lincoln City and stayed at Seahorse Oceanfront Lodging. At 7 pm, a limo picked them up and took them to the Chinook Winds Casino to meet Howie. I sat in the lobby, since we were told only Cassie, Athena and Tess could go in (although Brian went too and no one questioned it). After a few minutes I heard a scream: HOWIE!!!!
Cassie calls him Howie and talks to him a lot when he is on TV and when she watches his YouTube videos. I knew he must really be there, since I was sitting in the lobby and they had passed through the showroom and were supposed to meet him backstage. I was amazed at how well Cassie's voice carried. He spent at least 20 minutes talking to them (with his make-up and prep people tapping their watches). He hugged Cassie multiple times, and told her "I love you" when she said she professed her love for him. Tess says he is one of the nicest people she has ever met.
He told Cassie what a cute girl she was. She replied, "I know" to which he responded, "and humble." He recorded his voice saying, "Cassandra this is Howie, I love you." The day after she met him the voice went into a special Howie-styled bear, complete with gold earrings and a Sharpie soul patch. Now she can talk to him and hear his voice whenever she feels the need.
After the meeting with Howie we went to the buffet for dinner. They rode back to Seahorse in a limo with a bucket of ice and bottle of sparkling cider. Cassie floated around on a cloud for weeks afterward.
She had given Howie a build-a-bear with the same clothing on she was wearing, and a little "shoulder buddy" (sort of like a troll doll which can sit on your shoulder). Howie wore the shoulder buddy he calls, Chip, on his shoulder when he made an appearance on "Ellen," a week or so later. He made sure to let Cassie know he mentioned his friend Cassandra had given it to him. So not only did she get her wish, but heard her name mentioned on TV. So the round of cloud floating started all over again.
@CassieLuvsHowie where she tweets him quite often. She gets very excited when he tweets back to her. Since she now knows him personally it makes her memories of her special wish even better.