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Hartselle Enquirer

Miss Albany on the go

Albany Holmes is having a great time as she spins around on the merry-go-round at Priceville’s Veterans Park. Funds raised from last year’s Miss Albany’s Piggy Tail Princess 7k helped to raise funds for the new piece of handicap accessible equipment for the park. This years’s event will be held Sat., March 12, and all runners are welcome to participate. | Randy Garrison
Albany Holmes is having a great time as she spins around on the merry-go-round at Priceville’s Veterans Park. Funds raised from last year’s Miss Albany’s Piggy Tail Princess 7k helped to raise funds for the new piece of handicap accessible equipment for the park. This years’s event will be held Sat., March 12, and all runners are welcome to participate. | Randy Garrison

Miss Albany Holmes will participate in this year’s run

Randy Garrison

Hartselle Enquirer

 

Watching Albany Holmes smiling and laughing as the wind blows through her hair and asking to be pushed higher she appears to be a happy little four-year-old girl. Her laughter rings out as she goes round and round on the new merry-go-round at Veterans Park in Priceville. She is able to enjoy this with other kids and experience the fun just as any four-year-old would.

But when Albany gets down from the swing there are two three-legged canes that she depends on to move across the park.

Albany was just 18 months old when she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. She was born three months premature to Jeremy and Jessica Holmes of Priceville. But Albany has moved from a wheelchair last year to being able to walk using her canes. Her mother said the surgery Albany had last year relieved 90% of the spasticity in her body, which has allowed her to be mobile using the canes. This has given Albany so much confidence. She tackles falling down by getting back up. Her words are when you fall down “you get back up.”

According to her mother this is the new normal. Albany attends Church Street Academy and will attend Priceville Elementary when she is old enough. She also has two brothers Tristan (12) and Sammy 9) who she probably has wrapped around her little fingers and who stay close by when she is playing on the equipment.

Albany is a beautiful little light, according to her mother. She loves to play and that is all she should have to worry about. She wanted to play and not sit on the ground and watch other children enjoy themselves at play. Her parents wanted to come up with a way to fix this.

They knew runs were very popular and they decided to organize the Miss Albany’s Piggy Tail Princess 7k and Red Carpet Event. They however wanted the event to be as unique as their daughter. The 7k helps to bring in the funds but the Red Carpet Event at the end of the race lets everyone show themselves at the end. The race is supporting awareness to those with exceptionalities such as Cerebral Palsy, premature birth and other disabilities.

The third race will take place this Sat., March 12, at Priceville Elementary School beginning at 9 a.m.

There will be booths and vendors also at the event. “Elsa” will also be in attendance again this year.  The entrance fee is $35 and runners can go to www.missalbany7k to sign up for the race.

There will be something new in the race line-up this year. Albany herself will be in the race, not at the red carpet event at the end, but the entire 7k course. This year Ainsley’s Angels will participate in the run. This group enables those who are not physically able to participate in an event of this type to experience a run. They seek to build awareness about special needs Americans and seek to have them included in all aspects of life.

Albany will be riding in a special buggy that will be pushed by a runner. Mitch Tiffany, of the local Ainsley’s Angels group will be pushing. She has been running with the group recently. Miss Wheelchair Alabama, Shannon Green will be participating as well.

We wanted this race to be different, Jessica mentioned. Albany’s birthday is Nov. 7. The number 7 is also the number of completion in scripture, so we chose a 7k run.

There are over 180 runners signed up so far and they are hoping for 200 by Saturday. Last year 120 runners participated.

The Holmes family was able to donate $2,500 to the Town of Priceville from last year’s proceeds. A merry-go-round was purchased using the funds that enables Albany and other children to play together just as they are meant to do. But the merry-go-round does not look handicap accessible, which is even better for children with special needs. Also a parent who was wheelchair bound would also be able to push their child on the merry-go-round as well, a two-fold blessing.

The Town of Priceville recently held a ribbon cutting celebrating the installation of the merry-go-round and Albany was there to cut the ribbon.

Jessica expresses her appreciation to Priceville Mayor Melvin Duran and Council President Tommy Perry and the entire council for all of the support they have shown and working with the family with the race.

Runners in the race Saturday may dress up in tutus, have pigtails and many of the male runners will be wearing pink T-shirts and pink socks.

Nucor and Entrusted Tees have been financial sponsors of the event. She also wants to thank Fleet Feet and Pepsi for their support as well.

Albany also received another surprise recently when Magic Moments announced Albany would be receiving a trip to Disney World for Christmas

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