By Matthew Bado, TSB Staff
The runway is in place, the tiara is ready and the smell of chocolate from the chocolate fountain permeates the air. Now all we need is the guest of honor, six-year-old Abby Hood, who has been awarded a “Diva for a Day” birthday celebration, courtesy of Vintage Couture, a designer clothing company based in McKinney.
Today, Aug. 17, Abby turns six years old, but it has been a difficult year for little Abby. Her brother, David, is a three-year-old suffering from a congenital heart defect (Hypoplastic Left-Heart Syndrome). As any big sister would, Abby has spent her summer going back and forth from her home in Rockwall to Medical City – Dallas where David received his third open-heart surgery on June 5 and continues to fight for his life.
Amy Durham, a McKinney resident, recently met with local businesses and community leaders to find assistance for the Hood family. Jennifer Hood, the matriarch of the family, is a stay-at-home-mom, while her husband, Justin, is a firefighter with the City of Dallas Fire Department. While fortunate enough to have insurance, the Hoods have experienced financial setbacks due to the fact that Justin has been unable to tend to his side business as a personal trainer while his son has been in the hospital. Furthermore, due to David’s critical condition, the family has had to stay in a hotel close to the hospital and eat meals on-site to stay by David’s side.
Cue Vintage Couture! The company chose Abby to receive the exclusive distinction of “Diva for a Day,” whereby the corporate staff, local Stylists, and volunteers give Abby the full royal treatment.
Abby was a little taken aback when she first walked in the standin- room-only area to begin her “Diva for a Day” experience. But the bashfulness didn’t last long as she snacked on chocolate covered pretzels, got her hair styled, changed into several outfits and flanked the runway wearing her glimmering tiara.
Even community VIPs stopped by to wish Abby well on her birthday, including State Representative Ken Paxton and State Representative hopeful Scott Turner (Turner is running against Libertarian party opponent Michael A. Carrasco in the 2012 election).
“With her brother in the hospital for the past three months, we are very excited to be able to make this day truly special for Abby,” said Abby’s mom Jennifer. “We thank everyone at Vintage Couture for this gift.”
“When we learned of the difficulties the Hood family has experienced, the team at Vintage Couture decided to focus its attention on Abby, who has had to wait patiently while her parents tend to her brother, David, who so desperately needs them at this time. We are passionate about embracing the Hood Family for all they have weathered together, ” said Mandy Eaton, President of Vintage Couture. “The family is obviously very close, and the parents are extremely attentive, but, given the severity of David’s illness, the family has had to allocate much of its resources and energy on him this summer. We wanted to alleviate some of the pressure the family is experiencing by helping to make Abby’s sixth birthday something to remember.
Birthdays come and birthdays go but for Abby Hood, her sixth birthday is one that will never be forgotten.
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Concerned members of the community created a fund to help off-set the costs for the Hood family. To send donations to the family, please click here.
About Vintage Couture:
Vintage Couture is headquartered out of McKinney with over 200 Independent Fashion Stylists nationwide and continues to grow with the philosophies God first, Family second, and Career third. The designer clothing company with apparel and gifts for infants, girls, boys and even Mom. They strive to offer their customers the highest standards of customer service and unique products. They are empowered to be a socially responsible company committed to giving back and enriching the world through community involvement.
Pictured: Diva for a Day honoree, Abby Hood, poses with State Rep. Ken Paxton (right) and State Rep. candidate Scott Turner.