A beloved family photograph sparked five-year-old Callie’s imagination as she was undergoing treatment for leukemia, and was the inspiration behind her wish to visit New York City. The photograph in question was a family photo in a blue cupcake-shaped booth at the famed Dylan’s Candy Bar. Too young to remember that trip to the big apple, Callie knew she wanted with all her heart to return to the famed city to create new memories with her family.
Callie’s wish was revealed at the Tampa Bay Walk for Wishes event where she learned her wish would be granted on the main stage, surrounded by her family and local Make-A-Wish supporters. Soon, she found herself jetting off to New York City for the trip of a lifetime.
On her first day in the city, Callie’s itinerary brought her face to face with sea lions at the Central Park Zoo. After making many feathered and flippered friends, Callie and her family then ventured to Dylan’s Candy Bar, where their anticipation grew with every step. From the moment they entered, the staff went “above and beyond” to make the experience memorable. Callie and her brothers left with “a ridiculous amount” of candy as well as beach gear such as a towel and flip flops. Taking a break from the sweet shopping, Callie and her family got to enjoy dinner at Dylan’s Candy Café, in the very cupcake booth from the family photograph.
The next day brought even more shopping for Callie, as she started her day early at American Girl Place on famed 5th Avenue. Paired with a personal shopper, Callie was thrilled to pick out a new doll and plenty of accessories and outfits to dress her up. While there, Callie’s doll got her hair done in the doll hair salon, got her ears pierced, and even got a check-up from a doll doctor. Callie and her family also stopped for lunch at the American Girl Café, shopping up quite an appetite.
During the remainder of their time in New York City, Callie and her family visited the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Museum of Modern Art, the Natural History Museum and even had dinner at Ninja New York, an immersive dining experience where they were immersed in a Ninja castle. They described every minute as “flawless” and “exceeding expectations.” The photographs, souvenirs, and memories they brought back will be a reminder of the happiness and joy they found in the city.