A Princess and Her Prince

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A Princess and Her Prince

Abi Blankenship and Ales Dostal smile during a pre-prom photo shoot in downtown Memphis.

Abi Blankenship and Ales Dostal smile during a pre-prom photo shoot in downtown Memphis.

Photo provided by Jamie Swain

Abi Blankenship and Ales Dostal smile during a pre-prom photo shoot in downtown Memphis.

Photo provided by Jamie Swain

Photo provided by Jamie Swain

Abi Blankenship and Ales Dostal smile during a pre-prom photo shoot in downtown Memphis.

Lauren Miller, Reporter

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Prom is a night that many high-schoolers look forward to. Guys get fitted for their suits, and girls hunt for their dream dress. For one special little girl, this experience came early. Abigaile “Abi” Blankenship is a 10-year-old girl with Ewings Sarcoma, and she, too, dreamed of this night. Fortunately, senior Ales Dostal was able to fulfill her fairy tale.  

Dostal asked Abi to be his special guest for prom on April 21. To ask her to prom, he and her sister Kara Blankenship planned a very special promposal. They built her a small cardboard castle filled with flowers and her favorite candies with the charming question, “You’re the cutest princess of them all, so would you be our date to the ball?”

One of the many highlights of a girl’s prom is getting to pick out the perfect dress to make the night even more magical. Jessica’s Bridal & Formal, which is located in Bay, AR helped Abi by opening the store just for her. Eight women that have grown close to the Blankenship family and volunteer for the Make-A-Wish Foundation accompanied Abi to the store to cover the cost of her perfect dress.

However, the surprises did not end with the promposal and the hunt for her dress. At the end of her perfect night, Abi was crowned MHS prom princess. She was given a tiara and a pink princess sash.

Photo by Ciara Massey
Abi Blankenship was crowned MHS prom princess.

“Ales has been a sweet friend to our family for several years now, and I think for him it was hard to think about how much cancer has taken from Abi and what it could continue to take away from her future, so he wanted to do something about it,” Abi’s mother Jamie Swain said. “What he did was a very selfless act of kindness.”

Growing up, Dostal was constantly watching his mother as she volunteered for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and in the process, gained a passion for helping others, too. He furthered his love for community service in sixth grade when he joined Junior Delta Christian Association (JDC) brothers, and eventually, he started to do service projects all the time.

Dostal and fellow senior Madison McDaniel are currently in the process of starting their own nonprofit called “A Piece of Home.” The nonprofit aims to supply foster children with a simple bag or suitcase to put their belongings in when they move homes. Currently, children without bags are given a black trash bag to carry their possessions.

“Growing up I’ve always been provided everything I need, and just the fact that you really see how people live-just on the other side of town even- you see how the environment changes, how these kids are impacted in their early stages of life,” Dostal said.