For one day, once a year, the special needs students at a North Carolina elementary school get to be the envy of the student body.
For an annual Halloween parade, their wheelchairs become chariots or lady bugs or flying machines. And they are wrapped in pirate’s gear or princess gowns or buffed-up Batman suits.
“The whole school comes out to celebrate and cheer the kids on parade,” Joel Brenner, marketing director of 101 Mobility, told InsideEdition.com Wednesday.
“You have these kids, who on a regular basis, they’re not the center of attention. During this parade, they get to be the cool kids. Everyone is looking at them. For a change, everyone wishes they were them.”
Brenner’s company, which makes stair lifts, wheelchair ramps and other mobility devices for the elderly and the handicapped, has been coming to Codington Elementary School in Wilmington for the past five years.
The firm turns the Halloween costume dreams of children afflicted with mental and physical disabilities into three-dimensional realities.
This year, a little girl who wanted to act out the Princess and the Pea will be wheeled through the parade looking as if she is lying on a pile of mattresses.
For another little girl who wanted to be Supergirl, her wheelchair will be outfitted with fake legs extended from the back, making it look like she is flying.
Many of the children don’t speak, Brenner said.
“It’s their facial expressions, and their squeals, and the looks on their faces,” Brenner said, that tell you how happy they are.
“They get really excited when they see us come in and start to work with them.”
Another cool part of the holiday treat? Company employees deliver the elaborate costumes and wheelchair add-ons to each child’s home so they can use them to go trick-or-treating that night.