Pint-sized guests mingled while enjoying hot-pink and yellow cake pops from Miss Ali’s and mini-cupcakes from Sprinkles. The Girls were treated to Minx Nails by master artist Brian Garces and also enjoyed eyelash applications and airbrush tattoos. Grown-up guests bid on silent auction items including gorgeous Stephanie Johnson handbags, exquisite handmade jewelry and spa packages. Freshly pampered ‘tweens also picked up some swag, compliments of Caboodles. The hot-pink nail valets were filled with all kinds of goodies ranging from strawberry scented shoelaces and hair elastics to nail polish and nail decals.
The guest of honor, 12-year-old Alanna J. Wall sparkled in a hot-pink satin and sequin dress and cute, black sneakers. The remarkable Miss Wall is the founder of Polished Girlz, a non-profit organization dedicated to giving manicures to terminally ill and special needs girls.
From an early age, the Dayton, Ohio-based Alanna had a love of drawing and a heart for giving. She looked for ways to give back within her community, but was told she was too young to work as a volunteer anywhere. So, at the age of 10, armed with her artistic talent, some nail polish and a few girlfriends, she launched Polished Girlz.
By giving manicures, Alanna and her team bring smiles to terminally ill and special needs patients in chemotherapy and dialysis centers as well as support groups. The fast-growing non-profit currently serves girls in hospitals throughout Chicago, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey. Since its beginning in 2010, Polished Girlz has gained over 100 registered volunteers and has grown to over five locations nationwide. Polished Girlz has even caught the attention of Teen Vogue, which featured a story about Alanna and her organization. Singer/actress Selena Gomez has shown support for Polished Girlz as well.
I spoke with Alanna’s mother, Valerie Ragland, who told me that another one of their goals is to partner with a major nail polish brand and eventually even create a Polished Girlz line. She is amazed at all her daughter has accomplished, and so effortlessly.
“At times I’ve been concerned that she might not be able to handle working with the girls who don’t have very long to live…something even I have a hard time with. But Alanna just does it. She’s strong,” Ragland said.
When I asked Alanna what she likes the most about helping these girls, she said she feels lucky that she gets to be there for them because many times, “their first manicure is also their last manicure.”
Surrounded by her family—mom Valerie, father Jeffrey Wall Sr. and little brother Jeffrey Jr., Alanna remarked about how she wants her organization to reach girls in hospitals all over the world. There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that one day soon, it will.
For information on how you can get involved with Polished Girlz visit their website.