Chelsea Clark received two gifts for her 12th birthday Thursday.
The first was she was released from the hospital and was able to spend her birthday at home with her family. The second was $150 and a “Get Your Dance On” sweatshirt from Paula Barnes and dancers at Paula’s Dance Academy.
The studio won $150 for its float entry in McMinnville’s Christmas parade and decided to give the money to Chelsea, who has been battling osteosarcoma, commonly called bone cancer.
Tabitha McKinley accepted the donation on the behalf of Chelsea. McKinley, football booster club secretary, spearheaded a Womanless Beauty Pageant and chili supper which raised money for Chelsea’s family. Chelsea’s older brother, Josh, plays on the WCHS football team.
Barnes said, “I sat the girls down and told them we could keep the money or we could donate it to someone or some cause. It was their choice. The girls wanted to donate it and then they decided to give it to Chelsea because several have gone to school with her and have taken dance with her throughout the years. Chelsea took dance classes last year.”
“I am glad we are giving it to her. Her family’s going through a hard time and it’s Christmas,” said Brooklyn Grissom.
“I like it. It was a good idea. They need it more than we do,” said Anaston Chisam.
McMinnville Mayor Jimmy Haley said, “What a wonderful gesture on the part of an award winner to give something back to the community and to give something to a child in need.”
The Paula’s Dance Academy parade float was a replica of the pirate ship from the movie “Peter Pan.” This year’s parade theme was A Disney Christmas.
Barnes said, “We had so many dads excited about the parade. I usually have not had a lot of dads to participate in some of our activities. We did this time, though. They came up with the concept of the pirate ship and had that thing built in no time. We probably had 150 students, moms, dance teachers and dads to participate in the actual parade. Several girls were dressed as princesses. We had Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, Captain Hook, Minnie Mouse and dalmatians. I am very proud of the job everyone did. Everyone had such a great time participating.”