SEBRING - Kenna Sherwood skipped and hopped around as she pulled out her new toys from a gift bag and squealed with delight at her new dresses, but the best is yet to come.
In a couple of weeks, the 4-year-old and her family will be heading to Walt Disney World and other theme parks, made possible by an outpouring of community support that helped organizer Maribel Sanders raise $1,600 to $1,700 over three months.
The little girl suffers from Mngie disease, a mitochondrial condition that affects several parts of the body, particularly the digestive system and nervous system, forcing her to wear a feeding tube and leaving her developmentally delayed.
Sanders, who has an online business website, heard about Kenna's plight and how she has always wanted to go to Disney World.
Thanks to monetary donations and a giveback campaign by Ruby Tuesday and Dairy Queen, Sanders managed to raise money to make it memorable for the whole family.
They will spend three days at a Disney park, one day at Universal Studios and another day at Sea World. Through a friend of Sanders, the family also received a voucher for three days and two nights at an Orlando hotel.
Mother Jennifer Stephens was overwhelmed Monday and said Kenna has been looking forward to the trip, asking about it every day.
"She is super excited," she said.
The family has since moved from Sebring to Tampa to be close to the little girl's doctors but drove to the Highlands County YMCA for the gift-giving.
Volunteer Patty Lloyd, who heard about the efforts to help Kenna, even managed to get two Sebring Fire Department fire trucks to be there to welcome her.
"I just learned about her and wanted to help," she said.