‘A day for them’

Special needs day brings joy to many
By Shelby Harrell Staff Writer | May 31, 2014
Photo by: Shelby Harrell Ayla Packer, 7, rides a horse with help from volunteer Dawn Wick.

Hundreds of people celebrated the life of Deslyn Tay Sherrill on Saturday by enjoying the activities she once loved.

Deslyn Sherrill was born with cerebral palsy and passed away in July of last year. To honor her memory, her family wanted to provide a day for people with special needs.

“This was to celebrate her and let people with special needs be able to participate in something like this,” said Jessica Messer, Deslyn’s mother. “No one does this for special needs. It’s just a fun day — a day for them.”

Everyone who attended the event at the Haywood County Fairgrounds enjoyed wagon and pony rides, horses, goats, sheep music, face painting, balloon animals, pizza and more.

"I came because my friend has a special needs child and I wanted to show support," said Kristie Lindsey, who brought her daughters to the special needs day. "Plus, the girls love horses."

Once the event started to die down, Messer said was thrilled the event had such a huge turnout for the first year.

“This thing was packed with people,” Messer said. “It was just a celebration of my daughter. When she was younger she rode a horse. But when she got bigger, she couldn’t so she rode a wagon and she loved the movement of the wagon. She would just smile.”

Messer said the event wouldn’t have been possible without the overwhelming support and all the friends and family who volunteered to support special needs day.

Messer hopes to continue this celebration of her daughter for many years to come.

“She was 10 (years-old) when she passed,” Messer said. “I was lucky to have as long as I did with her.”

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