9-year-old's thoughtful wish becomes a lot more

February 13, 2011 3:47:26 PM PST
This is the story of a rather remarkable birthday bash and a kind hearted birthday girl. A few months ago, 9-year-old Ally Haas had an idea.

"I just wanted to help someone in need, maybe I could have a birthday party, instead of getting presents, maybe I could ask the people for donations," Ally said.

The goal was to help one or two very sick children and let them have a day of fun, maybe a day at the zoo.

Ally's mom said OK.

They were thinking of inviting 20 girls over and asking them to give a donation instead of a present, but then things changed.

First, the new Aloft Hotel in Mt. Laurel heard of the idea and offered up its enormous ballroom, so the invitation list grew to hundreds.

Then eateries donated, a DJ brought sounds, and with that, all that, Ally's wish became a community happening.

Instead of a zoo trip, now, Ally's mom Tamara says there may be enough for some days at the shore and more.

"It may not all go to a vacation, we might do some medical bills because these families are in dire need," Tamara said.

Through a pair of nonprofits, Tamara and Ally located two children with Leukemia.

Little 7-year-old Santina Wooley was too sick today to attend, but her uncle did; he was touched by the kindness.

"For a little girl to come up with that idea is amazing and for Tamara to make it grow like this, I know where her daughter got it from; it's awesome," Rick Wooley said.

"I'm so thankful everyone got the donations and everyone supported my wish," Ally said.