ROXBURY, NJ – A Roxbury middle school student who survived cancer, and now works to help other children suffering from illnesses, was treated like a princess Friday with a series of surprises organized by school staffers.
Eisenhower Middle School student Isabella Reilly was stunned when, upon walking outside school after classes, she encountered a stretch limousine and a group of people who told her the fancy car was for her. There was a school dance Friday night, and the awaiting limo was but the first step in preparing Reilly for a night she likely will not forget.
The limo, donated by Aristocrat Limousine & Bus Co. of Parsippany, drove the eight-grader to Santana’s Salon in Succasunna, where, for free, her hair was made-up for the dance. Then she was taken to Looma Spa, also in Succasunna, for a donated manicure and pedicure. After that, it was off to Morristown where Reilly received a gown for the evening donated by Dressed to the Nines.
A key organizer of all this was Eisenhower Middle School civics teacher Heather Roddy, who said she was compelled to surprise Reilly with the special treatment as a way of honoring and thanking the student.
Reilly developed a toy drive at the middle school while in Roddy’s seventh-grade civics class. She initiated the gathering of toys that will be donated to children in a hospital oncology unit.
Reilly was clearly stunned and surprised on Friday when she learned the awaiting limo was for her. She’d stayed after school to help set-up the gym for the night’s dance, having no idea she was about to be honored.
“I thought I was just going to go into the gym, set up and wait for people to come," she said. "But this … is outstanding.”
Roddy said Reilly deserved the special treatment, having donated so much time and energy into helping other ill young people. "She's a very special young lady," said the teacher. "What she is doing is beautiful."