Celebration for special girl lights up the sky

PHOENIXVILLE, Pa. - October 9, 2011

It was a fairy tale inspired ending to what was a large outdoor celebration of the short life of a little girl.

Just last June, Gabby Vogel was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer.

She died barely 3 months later, but not before an outpouring of help.

People who never met Gabby or her family stepped in to raise money for medical costs.

"They had beef and beers, softball tournaments, they had spaghetti dinners," volunteer Jill Ford said.

Gabby's father John says his family is overwhelmed by the kindness.

"I think the love is beautiful; I cannot truly believe people could be that good," John said.

The fairy tale element consisted of thousands of lights and hundreds of balloons; they had a special meaning in this memorial service that was being held on what would have been her sixth birthday.

According to her family, one of Gabby's favorite things to do while she was in the hospital was to watch the movie 'Tangled.' She was particularly interested in a scene that involved something called wish lanterns.

In the movie, the wish lanterns, tiny hot air balloons, cover the sky; it is a signal from a king and queen to their lost princess.

Gabby's mom Carolyn made a promise to her little girl.

"I told her at one point that on her birthday, every year, no matter what happened, we were going to light the sky up with lanterns," Carolyn said.

And so they did.

John and Carolyn lit an actual burning wish lantern while others released 500 balloons carrying tiny battery power lights.

On what would have been Gabby's sixth birthday, it was a remarkable sight.

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