By LISA BICKNELL
CV&T News Editor
On Friday night at the Estill County Fair Barn, the public is invited to “Relive the 90s for Jolie.”
The dance party event will be of particular interest to those who grew up in the 90s listening to the Back Street Boys and the Spice Girls, or watching Saved by the Bell and Space Jam.
The purpose of the dance is not only to relive the 90s and have a good time, but it is a fundraiser organized by Dale and Alison Thomas to help acquire a wheelchair accessible van for Jolie Harrell, almost four year-old daughter of Jennifer and Chris Harrell of Waco.
Jolie has rare seizure disorders called Lennox Gastuat Syndrome and Polymicrogyria which often result in her having up to 60 seizures a day. Because of the disorders, Jolie cannot walk or talk. As she grows, it is a challenge to lift Jolie in and out of the van they currently have.
Many in the community will remember Jennifer Harrell as a teacher at South Irvine Elementary. Her grandmother is the late Velma Blackwell, and her aunt and uncle, Frieda and Bud Blackwell, as well as some cousins and extended family, live in Estill County.
When Jennifer and Alison Thomas first became acquainted just months ago, they quickly learned they had a lot in common. They both have children who need wheelchairs, and Alison recalled the struggles she was having just a year ago without the specially-equipped van they acquired with the help of the community.
When Alison’s husband Dale suggested they have a 90’s themed dance, Alison quickly got on board, insisting they “go big” and make it a fundraiser for Jolie.
Those who attend the dance are encouraged to dress up as a favorite character, but Alison stresses that they don’t have to. People who grew up in other decades are also welcome to attend, but the Thomases are asking that folks find a sitter for their kids.
They want it to be a “carefree night” for Jennifer and Chris, as well as for everyone else.
“They (the Harrells) have been through the wringer,” said Alison. “I know how hard it is, and we want to help.”
Cody Shepherd with Platinum Audio/Visual will be spinning the 90s-themed tunes, and there will be plenty of food and refreshments.
Admission to the dance is $5, and there will be items to raffle or buy. There will also be a “real photo booth,” the kind you get inside and it prints off pictures, Alison explained. The dance starts at 7 p.m.
Several businesses are helping sponsor the dance, so all money collected for admission tickets and raffle, etc., will go toward the van for Jolie.
A friend has also started up a gofundme page where donations can be made. The link is https://www.gofundme.com/mvc.php?route=category&term=Jolie%20harrell%20ky.