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A Special Wish revealed at Blame My Roots fest

Photo Provided A wish was revealed this past weekend at Blame My Roots for a Belmont girl battling a severe illness. Annmarie O’Grady, left, A Special Wish Executive Director; Travis Clark, A Special Wish Board President; Ryan Rotilio, father; Wish Child, Cecilia Rotilio; Bella Rotilio, sister; Rachel Rotilio, mother; Pam McKim, Belmont Savings Bank (corporate partner); Hoagy Carmichael, Hoagy’s Heroes (community partner); Chris Dutton, (Dutton Family, Cecilia’s wish sponsor)

MORRISTOWN — This past weekend’s Blame My Roots festival also featured a wish reveal for a brave little girl.

Annmarie O’Grady, executive director of A Special Wish, announced 11-year-old Cecilia Rotilio and her family will go on a trip to Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida.

“I reached out to Chris Dutton and the Dutton Family that organizes Blame My Roots, and we talked about doing a wish reveal during the festival, and he said they would also like to sponsor the wish, which is wonderful,” O’Grady said.

“Cecilia’s a little girl from Belmont, Ohio,” O’Grady said. She was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma in September of 2020. O’Grady began speaking to Cecilia’s family at the beginning of this year.

“She just loves the amusement parks and the big coasters, and she also loves animals and she liked the fact that there was a safari at Busch Gardens as well,” O’Grady said. She will take the trip when she has recovered further.

“She just finished her last round of chemo on Monday,” she said. “We’ll have her take the wish when she’s ready, when she feels good and is able to enjoy Busch Gardens.”

O’Grady said Cecilia is a fairly new member of the “wish family” and did not have her wish postponed since last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Others have fallen behind.

“With our other wishes from 2019 that were supposed to happen in 2020, they were not able to happen,” O’Grady said. “COVID stopped so many things last year, but the one thing it did not stop is children in the Ohio Valley still being diagnosed with illnesses. The kids didn’t stop getting sick.

“We completed two wishes this year,” she said. “We have two that will be granted at the end of this year in the fall. We have two who are going to Disney World, and that will definitely happen.”

She said Blame My Roots was the logical choice as a place to reveal the wish.

“The fact that she lives just a few minutes away – she’s from Belmont Ohio – and I figure that was a very good fit,” she said.

“I just thought that would be a really nice place to do a reveal, to kind of get our name out and what we can do,” she said. “We’re always wanting people to know about us so that they can refer either their children or children that they know who might qualify for a wish. Our mission is to grant wishes to children in the Ohio Valley who have been diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses.

“It was a really nice way for folks in the area to see who we are and what we do, and for CC to feel special,” she said. “It’s about our kids first and foremost. … It’s so nice to be able to do the wish-granting and do the reveals.”

She thanked the Duttons, A Special Wish’s corporate partner, Belmont Savings Bank, and community partners Hoagy’s Heroes and Harvey Goodman Realtor.

A Bling and Brew event is scheduled for Aug. 4 at Chapz Bar & Grill on National Road near Belmont, and a lip sync challenge Oct. 2 at the Capitol Theatre in Wheeling.

For more information or to donate to A Special Wish, call the office at 740-449-2063 or visit spwishov.org.

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