Dream Day celebration enchants local children battling cancer

PRI Productions' annual celebration honors local kids and families

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It was a magical, whimsical Saturday where 50 Jacksonville-area children’s dreams came true at PRI Productions.

The Dream Day celebration honors the lives of children who are fighting life-threatening illnesses.

Some kids at Dream Day are battling the biggest fight of their life. Others just fought that fight, and are winning for now and hope to remain that way.

Innocent boys and girls should never have to feel the pain or stress of sickness like cancer, and that’s why PRI Productions says it puts on its annual Dream Day -- to take a break from thinking about their illnesses.

It took weeks to transform PRI Productions into a whole new world -- a place where kids can meet their favorite heroes and characters, as well as explore and play for the day and have their dreams come true.

PRI had anything and everything kids could dream up. There were Batman fans, coloring, candy, pirates and princesses; the list goes on and on. There were also several specialty rooms where kids could come in with their families and have a good time.

One of the best parts for the kids was the parade. Each child got their own grand entrance and was hugged by their favorite characters.

“I pulled up in a Jeep and it was amazing,” 9-years-old, Nora Kehey said. “They were holding up a banner with my name in it, and I met Darth Vader and the stormtroopers.”

News4Jax’s very own Nikki Kimbleton played the role of Glenda the Good Witch and emceed the parade, greeting every child in a unique way.

Jacksonville Jaguars coach Gus Bradley, Jaguars football players and some Roar cheerleaders were also there to welcome the kids.

“She was ecstatic,” said parent, Vinnie Pacifico. “She loved it we had no idea everyone would have their own entrance. It was a great setup.”

There was something for every kid, but it also was a good break for parents as well.

“It’s amazing. Not what I expected at all. It’s incredible,” said one parent, Jessica Bontempo.

It was a big day for the kids, but the truth is the kids are Jacksonville heroes for putting up such a brave face and smiling through all they endured.

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