Children and adults with special needs shine in the spotlight


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church hosted “Simply Cinderella” Saturday evening. It’s a production that allows both children and adults with special needs to perform in the spotlight.

It’s every little girl’s dream to one day grow up and be a princess and for Kaylie Gambill, her wish was granted Saturday night.

“It’s going to be really exciting, I’ve always wanted to be a Disney princess,” said Gambill.

Gambill’s youth pastor saw her talent on stage so she casted her as Cinderella.

“I’m just an actress and I do my job well,” said Gambill.

“I feel exactly like a princess,” said Gambill.

“I feel excited, I’m not nervous. I’m just happy they’re coming to see the play. We’ve done a really job with it and hopefully they like it,” said Ricky Meissel-Berd.

Meissel-Berd prepared for his role as the King for 10 weeks.

“I’m just myself and enjoy myself in the story and make it realistic, so in a way that pops the story out,” said Meissel-Berd.

Everyone on stage has a chance to be a star and each one of them shined.

“It gives them an opportunity to just be them,” said organizer Jess Berryhill. “We roll with the punches and whatever happens, happens, and we just roll with it and I don’t think you can find that anywhere else.”

Berryhill started the special needs ministry at Mt. Pleasant UMC in Terre Haute three years ago.

This is the first play her program has hosted. By the looks of the audience’s reaction, the cast stole the show.

This was exactly their mission on stage.

“I hope the audience enjoys the show tonight,” said Gambill.

“I hope the audience says, ‘Wow I love this play, this is a really good play, this was excellent, they were on fire’,” said Meissel-Berd.

With a standing ovation, it looks like the entire cast made for a night no one will forget.

Mt. Pleasant Church was also selected as a church to host “A Night to Shine”. It’s a prom geared for those with special needs, sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation.

It will be held Friday, February 10.

All 14-year-olds and up are welcome. Contact Jess Berryhill at (812) 232-4808 if you would like to sign someone up for the prom or would like to volunteer at the event.

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