A little girl with cystic fibrosis got the royal treatment from the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Princess Annie Lown wanted to dance with a real prince at a royal ball, and her wish came true Friday evening.
Annie was met by her royal ??carriage,?? or limo, at Thruway exit 34, and taken to the Greystone Castle in Canastota. The streets were lined with her subjects, as local ??villagers?? came out to greet Annie while she made her way to the ball.
When she arrived at the Greystone Castle, Princess Annie was greeted by Canastota Mayor Carla DeShaw, who gave Annie the key to the Magical Kingdom of Canastota.
"We were elated to have her in our village," said DeShaw.
The royal herald then announced Princess Annie and her Royal Prince, former Bachelor contestant Prince Lorenzo Borghese.
"This is what Make-a-Wish is about, to have something so wonderful," said Diane Wladis, who helped organize the event. "And such a very unique, special kind of wish, and such a special little girl."
After the first dance, Prince Borghese made a short speech, saying "You wished to dance with a prince, meaning that you already know you're a princess."
All of Annie??s favorite foods were served, special music was played during her big dance, and a birthday cake shaped like a princess's castle was served, as Friday was her eleventh birthday.
The event was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Princess Annie, but also affected those who helped make her wish come true.
"There's something that has grown inside of me and changed me," said Lydia Johnson, who designed the event's invitations and insignia. "And I hope to do more projects like this, that benefit children."
Princess Annie had her wish announced in October at the Ms. Orange Fan luncheon, where Jim and Juli Boeheim made the Royal Announcement that her wish was coming true.
"Each and every wish granted to Wish Kids are all magical in their own special way, but this wish is the very essence of what a wish is and the magic it brings to a Wish Kid," noted Diane Kuppermann, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish Central New York.
She added, "We are so very lucky to have an amazing staff, volunteers and donors who have helped to create this amazing wish, and we are so very grateful for all the support bestowed upon this royal court."