Volunteering & Giving
October 9, 2014

Make-A-Wish princess becomes rodeo royalty

Alyssa Kalb of Foresthill, Calif., put 18 months of chemotherapy behind her to become a Make-A-Wish princess at the Folsom, Calif., Pro Rodeo.

At 54 years running, the Folsom, California, Pro Rodeo is a community tradition. The 2014 event added another: helping to grant a wish for a Make-A-Wish princess — Alyssa Kalb, 7, of nearby Foresthill.

Alyssa experienced several “firsts” courtesy of Wells Fargo during her wish reveal weekend in Folsom:

  • Donned a crown and sash as the 2014 Folsom Pro Rodeo Princess.
  • Rode in the Wells Fargo stagecoach during the parade and cattle drive.
  • Practiced her princess wave on Folsom’s Sutter Street after a “princess primp session.”
Princess Academy owner Amanda Carter-King helps Alyssa Kalb from the chair
All done: dress, hair, face-painting, nails and more at the Princess Academy.

Alyssa received her biggest surprise on the rodeo’s opening night — the announcement that she’d be going on a Disney Cruise Line® cruise. Make-A-Wish Northeastern California and Northern Nevada granted her wish with help from Wells Fargo and Disney.

“We’ve been through so much together, which made the surprise all the more amazing,” says Terry, Alyssa’s mom.

Adds Jennifer Stolo, CEO of the Sacramento-based Make-A-Wish chapter: “It takes a community to do what we do. We have 300 wishes waiting, and ask for companies like Wells Fargo to partner with us since, for every wish we grant each day, we receive two more. Our wish is to be able to grant all we receive.”

Alyssa celebrates her fifth birthday in the hospital with her family in 2012
How far she’s come: Alyssa celebrated her fifth birthday in the hospital in 2012.

Alyssa’s wish was the latest of more than 5,000 that Make-A-Wish Northeastern California and Northern Nevada has granted for children with life-threatening medical conditions since 1983. Diagnosed in 2012 with a brain tumor, Alyssa finished 18 months of chemotherapy in November 2013.

Watch the video to see the magic unfold at the rodeo for Alyssa and family — Terry and Rick, and children Alyssa, Alexis, 8, and Ricky, 4.

A special thanks to Disney, who has helped Make-A-Wish grant more than 88,000 wishes globally since the first official wish to go to the Disneyland® Resort 33 years ago.