GNASH and the Predators Equiplinq Dancers were on hand for the “World’s Largest Ice Cream Social,” a Make-A-Wish Foundation social held locally at the Cold Stone Creamery in Brentwood.
"Make-A-Wish deals with young kids and that has always been a point of emphasis with the foundation and its work," Predators Foundation President Gerry Helper said. "Being involved in an event like this gives the Predators a chance to make a difference in a child's life that is really in need."
A special part of the event every year is the servers for the event; past Make-A-Wish kids, who have had their wishes granted, come back to their local Cold Stone Creameries to help with the event.
Make-A-Wish of Middle Tennessee Assistant Director of Operations and Events Jann Seymour helped oversee the event. Seymour views events such as this as an opportunity for the kids to be an inspiration for both people in the community but more importantly for other Make-A-Wish kids.
“Its great to have them out here because it shows everyone that after our wish kids get better from whatever illness they have, they can go on and lead really productive lives and sometimes their wishes will continue to affect them through out their entire life.”
As a part of the event, 5-year-old Make-A-Wish kid Jack teamed up with Cold Stone Creamery to create his own ice cream creation. “Jack’s Creation” made of sweet cream ice cream, brownie, sprinkles, and caramel was served as part of the social.
There was special Make-A-Wish kid at the event, Paige Armstrong. When Armstrong was 13 years old she was diagnosed with bone cancer. When contacted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation and asked if she could make a wish for anything what it would be; she had big dreams for any thirteen year old. She wanted to come to Nashville from her home in Pennsylvania and record a Christian music CD.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation made this wish come true. She was given backup vocals, producers, and engineers to help in this wish. Now 18 years old, the young cancer survivor is releasing her first national album in October.
“From the CD I made from my wish it was kind of like a domino effect of opportunities to sing and speak all over the country. So Make-A-Wish has really been so instrumental in opening up my dreams after my cancer. I’m just getting my life back. And now I actually have a national CD that is releasing. And it all points back to my wish that I made with Make-A-Wish.”
Armstrong, many years after her wish has been granted, still continues to attend events like the “World’s Largest Ice Cream Social” in order to support Make-A-Wish and the work they do for children like her. Armstrong has become very appreciative of the work of this organization and has become an avid advocate.
“I am just so great full to [to Make-A-Wish] and if I can help out in anyway, ever, as far as other kids get wishes or just helping get Wish’s name out there, and support them in anyway I can, I will. So any Make-A-Wish events that come up I love to be there.”
As customers were greeted, served, and talked with Make-A-Wish kids, the survivors wanted to send an important message. Make-A-Wish is an organization that has helped them through some of their toughest days and is an organization that they will always so their part to help and support.
“I think it is important for people to know that make a wish isn’t just a last wish type thing.” Armstrong stated. “You can make a wish and it can really be a wish that kind of just keeps giving and just goes on for the rest of your life. I think that’s something really important for people to understand.”
Throughout the month of September wish stars can be purchased for a dollar donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation at Cold Stone Creamery stores. This money along with the money collected at the ice cream socials since 2002 around the country add up to over $3.2 million Cold Stone Creamery’s have raised for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.