Brandon Bolt, four year old son of John and Ruby Bolt, was the recipient of a "Make A Wish" trip to Disney World where he got to meet his favorite characters.
The Bolts live near Paragould at Marmaduke. Brandon's dad is a former Manila resident. Thanks to the Make A Wish foundation, Brandon was able to share his week with his older brother and sister, John, 16, and Krystal, 11, of Caraway.
"It was a wonderful trip for all of us," Mr. Bolt said. "The Make A Wish Foundation is a tremendous organization. We can't say enough about the work they do. Before the trip, Brandon was treated to a Celebration Party in Memphis."
The family left Memorial Day weekend for six days they will never forget. It was not only Brandon's first time to fly; it was his dad's, sister's and brother's.
"When we arrived at the airport in Memphis, a representative was there to help us," Mr. Bolt said. "Brandon was able to make a visit to the cockpit and visit with the pilot before we left. Everyone rolled out the red carpet for him. When we arrived, a rental car was available for us. We stayed at a very special place called "Give the Kids the World Village." Everyone had their own little house painted in rainbow colors with individual family names on the mailboxes. There was a movie theater, arcade, a train in the village, and much more. Brandon could eat all of the ice cream or pizza he wanted. The people working in the "Ginger Bread House," the cafeteria in the village, were all volunteers and they were so good to the children and their families. We met so many nice people there and were able to share with other families. The Make a Wish Foundation not only grants wishes, it makes lasting memories. Brandon still looks at the pictures and gives kisses to Tigger and other characters."
Brandon was seriously ill when he was very young and still requires special medical treatment.
"The hand of the Lord was on him," Bolt said. "People have been so very good to us. The Oak Grove Heights United Pentecostal Church members stood beside us and helped us through some very difficult days."
Mr. Bolt works at Martin Sprockett and Gear in Paragould and Mrs. Bolt works at Arkansas Methodist Medical Center in the home health department.
"Neither of us had enough vacation time left for the trip, but both our employers let us take the time off we needed," Mr. Bolt said. "We appreciate everyone who donates to the Make a Wish Foundation. We are especially grateful our children had this opportunity. The trip to Disney World was like a healing process for the whole family."
Brandon is glad to talk about his trip sharing his adventures with Mayor Clayton (a large bunny rabbit), Scooby Doo, Mickey Mouse, Tigger, and all of his new friends.