story

i have emailed rebecca lopez about this story to see if the family has
an alternate fund somewhere were there can be donations for this girl
and her trip.

'Charity' steals money raised for cerebral palsy girl's dream trip

04:09 PM CDT on Saturday, October 11, 2008

By REBECCA LOPEZ / WFAA-TV

Video

Rebecca Lopez reports
October 10, 2008
MORE: News 8 video
View larger E-mail Clip More Video CORSICANA – It was supposed to be a
dream come true – the trip of a lifetime for a little girl with
cerebral palsy.

But the charity that was supposed to help took off with the money.

It left the child's family heartbroken.

It's been a life time of struggle for 8-year-old Gabriella Andrews,
who has cerebral palsy. Now, she and her mom struggle to understand
how someone could exploit her.

In April, Holly Andrews says she saw a couple at a Wal-Mart in
Corsicana, raising money to grant the wish of a handicap child.

Andrews donated a few dollars and then told them about Gabriella.

"They just got so excited and they said, 'we would love to grant your
daughter a wish,'" she said.

Gabriella's dream is to visit her best friend in Buffalo, New York,
and ice skate at a rink for special needs children.

The charity, called Texas Wishing Well Foundation, raised thousands of
dollars for the trip but then disappeared with the money, disconnected
their phones and shut down their website.

Andrews had to tell Gabriella the truth.

"They are bad people and they have taken the money they promised us," she said.

Our sister station in Houston did a story on the charity in 2003.

They'd raised money for a shopping spree for a 13-year-old cancer
patient. All the toys were supposedly stolen by a cab driver who was
to deliver them to his home.

"I am so sorry to do that but this is so horrible, said Frank Willis, crying.

Andrews says he is the man she was dealing with and may have taken the
charity money.

She says she wants these people caught. "I don't want anyone else to
have this done," she said.

But, there's at least one other victim in Houston. Andrews says she
will find a way to take her daughter to New York and make her wish
come true.

E-mail rlopez@wfaa.com.


nathan day 817-602-2081 www.nathanday.org
http://nday72.googlepages.com/nathandayresume

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