CLEVELAND, Ga., Nov. 11, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cabbage Patch Kids® and Little People® connect families. It is the stories that are passed down over the years through storytelling, film, broadcast, news writing that show that unusual twist of fate that in this case brought White County High School students and families to a barbeque competition at BabyLand General Hospital together in such a fun way.
It was a nine month odyssey.
From a Student's point of view. Contributing Student Reporter: Maddie Cope of Warrior TV.
Warrior TV was excited to become Stella Nichole's guardian on March 16, 2015. We were preparing for our annual Student Television Network national convention, which would be held later in March in San Diego, Calif., and we were excited to take a piece of home with us across the country. Stella was immediately recognized, with several people exclaiming "Oh, I used to have one of those babies when I was younger". She received hugs, had her picture made, and enjoyed the convention with students from all over the United States. Stella Nichole's fame helped strangers associate Warrior TV with Cleveland, GA and the highly recognized BabyLand General Hospital, home of the Cabbage Patch Kids.
Our journey cross country began on March 30, 2015 as 38 members of Warrior TV boarded the five hour plane ride to San Diego. Sophomore, Matt Flynn admitted, "Holding Stella during my first plane ride was very calming and comforting. I was really nervous". Stella Nichole and several students on this trip earned their "wings".
While in San Diego, Stella Nichole enjoyed a day of fun at Sea World and Coronado Island. Senior, Meghan Sosebee shared that she enjoyed sitting on the beach with Stella and watching the sun set over the Pacific Ocean". Stella Nicole also encouraged Warrior TV students during their competitions, and even learned a little bit about broadcasting herself.
Stella Nichole got to see Warrior TV win three honorable mentions at STN while in San Diego, including "Broadcast News Writing", "Sports Highlight", and "Short Story". Warrior TV also received 2nd place in the fall national category, "Public Service Announcement".
Since San Diego, Stella has watched the 4th of July fireworks in Helen, GA, visited Helen's Cool River Tubing and Zip-lining, attended church, and has even cheered on her fellow Warriors at numerous football games at White County High School.
WTVN Sportscaster, Joe McGuire always had welcoming arms when Stella needed to be carried during our California adventures. "She's a kind-hearted little girl, and she always drew smiles from strangers," he said.
There were many people involved in Stella's nine month journey, including BabyLand nurses, staff members and the supportive families and friends of those in Warrior TV who helped sell raffle tickets for the chance to adopt Stella Nichole. The fund raising was to help expenses for students.
Top ticket seller, Aidan Cope said, "I liked seeing how people responded in such a positive way to Stella. Everyone thought she was beautiful and wanted to hold her."
Stella Nichole will always have a special place in the hearts of Warrior TV instructors Charles Dewalt and Gina Gailey.
Executive Director of Warrior TV, Charles Dewalt said, "Stella was an amazing experience for the students of Warrior TV. This helped students learn the skill of marketing a product and raising money to support their cause. I believe the students will remember the experience for years to come."
Broadcasting teacher, Gina Gailey said, "Coming from such a small town and being known for something so popular and loved across the globe was exciting for the students. They also had a chance to see how to work at fundraising and what it took to sell a product through social skills, social media and advertising. I am very proud of them! I am also very thankful to the staff at BabyLand for their generosity!"
Stella Nichole's New Family...
As the leaves began to turn in the Georgia Mountains the final drawing for Stella Nichole took place at Hillbilly Hog BBQ Throwdown and Fall Festival live on WTVN.
Announcer and contributing writer Maddie Cope began her live broadcast. Student Courtney Blalock drew the name, Marlene Harris of Mexico Beach, Fla.
After playing telephone tag a few times, 82-year-old Marlene Harris of Mexico Beach, Fla., got through. She was attending the Hillbilly Hog BBQ event. Harris was attending her first barbeque competition where her son, J.H. Harris of Woodstock, Georgia, was a qualified Kansas City Barbeque Society judge.
"She's Here!" Cope exclaimed excitedly, getting ready for her interview with Marlene Harris.
Cabbage Patch Kids and Little People find a way to bond people together. It's only in the stories that are told from one generation to the next that are remembered and will become a part of their family history.
The Story of Stella Nichole begins a new Chapter as she was lovingly put into the arms of Marlene Harris of Florida.
"I never thought I would have another baby," laughed 82-year old great grandmother.
Once again, little Stella began sharing new experiences with her new family.
J.C. Harris of Woodstock, Ga., took class to qualify to become a Kansas City Barbecue Society Judge, because he loved barbeque. Passionate about the delicately smoked and spiced meats, the culinary judge even had barbecue flown in from Tennessee.
"You get the best barbeque at these competitions, because everyone here takes the time to test different ingredients and recipes to bring out the best flavor in their barbeque," said the judge.
Attending and competing at the Kansas City Barbeque competitions can turn into a family affair. Harris' sister and brother-in-law, Leslie and Mike Barnes of Buford enjoy making Barbeque.
As the family gathered to watch their mother take the Oath of "guardianship" and learn more about Stella Nichole's travels and history, they saw her hug her baby even tighter. Planning to give Stella Nichole to her 15 month-year-old great granddaughter, Harper Alterman of Buford, the elder Harris said I may have to keep Stella at my house for a while. She became more attached to her new young friend as she found out all the exciting adventures she had with the White County High School students.
Since Stella had on an evening dress, the busy 82-year old said that she would take Stella to a banquet that evening honoring her friend who coached women's basketball and held a long standing record amount of wins at Georgia's Stone Mountain High School.
Happy with her new charge, Marlene decided that she wanted to come back to BabyLand General Hospital, and show Harper, now the official Adoptive Parent, where Stella Nichole was born.
It would be her privilege to share that experience and memory with her great-granddaughter. Harper will begin this new chapter of her life with Stella Nichole and her great grandmother. There will be precious family memories and friendships. Perhaps, the students that will someday look back on their adventures with Stella Nichole as a beginning part of their career in this field of study in front or behind the camera in some aspect of broadcast, journalism or film making.
Just imagine the wonderful stories they will all be able to tell!
Memories Made at http://www.cabbagepatchkids.com/
WTVN Student Announcer and Contributing Writer: Maddie Cope
WTVN-Warrior TV, WSPR-FM, The Voice, Warrior Films
2600 Hwy 129 North, Cleveland, GA 30528
Office: 706.865.2312 Ext 8304
Margaret Hata McLean
Director of Corporate Communications
BabyLand General Hospital
Cabbage Patch Kids
300 NOK Dr.
Cleveland, GA 30528
Office: 706-865-2171, Ext. 241
Photos accompanying this release are available at:
CONTACT:Margaret Hata McLean 706-865-2171, Ext. 241
Source: Cabbage Patch Kids (Original Appalachian Artworks)