BARBERTON, Ohio – In a kindergarten classroom at Barberton Elementary West, kids and teachers dress as their favorite characters on Halloween. However, one little girl's costume this year was much different than her classmates.
Sweet 6-year-old Lanie Belkey has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair.
“She has definite likes and dislikes. Loves Pippa pig, loves wheels on the bus and FOX 8,” said Sara Posey, Lanie’s classroom aid.
Lanie is what we might call a FOX 8 fanatic.
“At home it’s either FOX 8 News or Nickelodeon. That’s it,” said her mom, Melissa. “She has an internal time clock, she knows what time the news comes on,” Melissa explained.
Lanie even has her own favorite FOX 8 Anchors.
“Melissa Mack, Jen Harcher, AJ Colby, she’s a weather girl,” Melissa said smiling. “And then she likes Tracey McCool, Elizabeth Norieka, Natalie Herbick,” she continued.
Melissa also said Lanie likes to call Kenny Crumpton ‘Kicking Kenny’.
With Lanie’s love for Cleveland’s Own in mind, Melissa turned her wheelchair into a perfect replica of the FOX 8 anchor desk.
“Every year we try to incorporate her chair, somehow, you know. So I’m like, we can do FOX 8 News! Just make her a little desk,” Melissa said.
The outcome was truly spectacular. Lanie wore her anchor desk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating and then brought it to school on Halloween for their parade.
“Are you a FOX 8 Anchor?” one person asked as Lanie passed by.
Melissa said seeing her daughter happy and the other kids smile back at her is what it’s all about.
“Usually you just kind of get those stares like, what? And this way it’s just making her, bringing out her personality more,” Melissa said.