Kearns and Sons RS Aesthetics

Tenley’s wish comes true

Princess Tenley Stoker, pictured with one of her ‘ladies-in-waiting,’ school paraprofessional Vanessa Lehnan, was the guest of honor at the big Disney Day celebration held last Thursday at Stevensville Primary School. The entire kindergarten through fourth grade turned out to dance, sing and celebrate the fact that Tenley was being granted her wish for a trip to Disney World. Michael Howell photo.

Officer Jeremiah Snider (far right) and several other Highway Patrol and Stevensville police officers were on hand to award Tenley Stoker and her parents Mathieu and Shalena and her brother Nathan a trip to Disney World as a gift from the Montana Hope Project. Michael Howell photo.

By Michael Howell

Last Thursday was not exactly an ordinary day at Stevensville Primary School. There were a lot of ‘characters’ around. Mary Poppins was there. She seemed to be in charge. But there were lots of other Disney characters present as well. Even a few Disney Dinosaurs from “Toy Story.” It was in fact, Disney Day, a special day set aside to celebrate the granting of a wish.
One of Stevensville’s youngest students, five-year old kindergartner Tenley Stoker, was selected by the Montana Hope Project to have a wish come true. Her wish was a trip to Disney World. According to Jessica Shourd, Primary School Principal, plans for the big send-off began to unfold back in October when the school first got word.
“We decided to make a really big thing out of it,” said Shourd. “We made the whole day a Disney Day with a full assembly at the end.” It was something that all the kids, kindergarten through 4th grade, could participate in. They all got a chance to watch five Disney movies and then pick out a character to dress up as for the day. Shourd said that even the teachers got inspired.
“I’m really proud of the staff and how they picked up on this,” said Shourd.
Actors from Missoula Children’s Theater also came down and put on an interactive performance at the assembly. Performers from Your Fairy Godmothers, an MCT acting company that specializes in princess and superhero entertainment for children, dressed up as characters from Tenley’s favorite movie, “Frozen.” The actors portraying Elsa, Anna and Kristoff sang and danced and got the children singing and dancing as well.
Fun was had by all and in the end Tenley was crowned and “officially” granted her wish by a dozen Highway Patrol and Stevensville Police officers on behalf of Montana Hope Project.
The Montana Hope Project is a non-profit organization funded by tax-deductible charitable contributions. The Hope Project does not receive tax support and is not associated with any national wish-granting organization. Sponsored by the Association of Montana Troopers, the Montana Hope Project originated from the strong desire of Troopers to offer a special and unique service to the communities they served.
The goal of the Hope Project is to make dreams come true for critically ill children in Montana. The conditions the children face typically require medical intervention and physically, emotionally, and financially drain the children and their families. Ninety percent of all proceeds from fund-raisers, corporate and private donors, and memorials go directly to wishes for Montana children. The average wish granted costs about $6000, and the most requested wish is a trip to Walt Disney World.
The family is heading off for Tenley’s dream vacation this week.

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