Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Last Day in DC

This morning Hannah and I met Majority Whip and SC House Rep James Clyburn in his office in the Capitol. He sat Hannah on his couch and talked with her for a few minutes. Then he took a picture with her and let her look out of his window to see his view of the Washington Monument.

Next, we were off for our White House tour after a quick lunch. It was amazing. We got to spend quite a bit of time in the rooms of the White House. We saw the East, Blue, Green, and the Red rooms along with a few others. Then we all met for a picture on the back entrance of the White House. The back lawn has an amazing view. Once all the Champions and their families were in place for the picture, President Obama made his appearance. He took the time to shake every one of the Champion kids hands and then took a few pictures sitting in the middle of them all. He then asked the kids if they had any questions for him. One little boy stood up and asked him about health care for kids. The President laughed for a second and then gladly explained his plan for health care for kids that he is currently working on. He spoke to everyone and then invited all the kids to play on his girls' new playset on the back lawn. The President came back out to watch all the kids play on the playground. Of course, Savannah seized the moment to run over to him and shake his hand. He greeted her with a big smile and said "hey there little one" and shook her hand and she was all smiles. Unfortunately,I missed that moment with camera.
He thanked all for visiting with him today as his girls were on spring break and had left him there all alone to work.
Above are a few pics from yesterday and this morning. We have a finale this afternoon at the ESPN Zone where Mark Wills is going to perform for us as well as Miss America. I think there is going to be some other surprise there! We'll see. We will be leaving out early in the morning and will be home shortly after lunch.

This has been an amazing trip that is definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity. I cannot express enough thanks to all that have been responsible for giving us this opportunity. The Children's Miracle Network is an incredible organization that is all about helping the kids that are our future. Everyone needs to know what this organization does for kids everywhere around the world and we were honored that Hannah was chosen to represent, Palmetto Health Hospital, South Carolina, and all of the 17 MILLION kids seen by CMN hospitals every year.

Monday, March 23, 2009

First Day in DC

Today was a great day in DC. We took a bus tour ride first thing this morning to see some of DC's attractions. We saw the Washington Monument, many of the memorials and most of the government buildings including the FBI building. Then we got off the bus in front of the capital to take pictures. It was an awesome Kodak moment for sure. I will be posting a few of the pics from today.

We then had a Capitol Hill luncheon in the Dirksen Senate Office Building where many of the state Senators were present. One of the pictures for this post is a pic of the future government officials speaking into the mics of the Senate Office Bldg or maybe NOT. Our Senator Lindsey Graham did not make the luncheon, but called us and wanted to meet with Hannah afterwards. So, we met him on the steps of the capitol after lunch for a picture.

The rest of the day was ours. We went to the Air and Space Museum (very cool) and took in a few other sites on our walk back towards the hotel. Our hotel is very nice with excellent view of Pennsylvania Avenue from our window. The girls are taking a swim as I am updating this now. Fixing to go join them.
We have been really busy. I want to say that we just got on the WIS News website and looked at the stories that have been aired. I want to personally thank Hannah Horne and Taylor for their wonderful work they did with our story. You made it so much fun and we love you! You are very good...no excellent at what you do!!!

Going for a swim and then onto the White House tomorrow. Ending tomorrow with a big celebration at the ESPN Zone. Thanks to all back home following us.

See you soon!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Last day at Disney

Well, we have survived Disney. Actually we have had an awesome time. We went to the Animal Kingdom first and spent most of the afternoon there. Then we stayed late last night at the Magic Kingdom. It was open until midnight. We got to ride alot of rides late because there were no lines. We stayed on a roller coaster four times in a row. Hannah rode Everest four times. That is an awesome roller coaster ride. We all road Splash Mountain. Even Savannah had fun dropping down the fifty foot drop into the briar patch. Of course, she is a daredevil.
We have our bags packed once again and will be leaving today at 1:30 to go to DC. The flight is going to have all the champion families on it. It should be very fun. All for now! I will put some of the latest pics on soon. We're hungry. Got to eat before the flight.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Medal Day

First of all, sorry that I didn't get to update last night. Yesterday was an amazing day, but very exhausting on all of us, especially the girls. It started early with breakfast with all the champions. Then John Schneider, one of the "good ol boys' from the Dukes of Hazzard spoke to everyone. He is one of the cofounders of Children's Miracle Network. At the end of breakfast, Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and Pluto came out for pictures. Savannah was so excited to see them. Then we met with the WIS Team for interviews that aired yesterday and last night. Hope they turned out good. We did have time to relax at the pool for a couple of hours yesterday which really tired out the girls.

We then had to get ready for the celebration last night. It was amazing. They fed us dinner and then we went into another ballroom where all the sponsors came around to each family to get autographs from the Champions. They treated the kids like movie stars. They actually provided each kid with a stamp for the autographs. Steve Young opened the concert by reading a book to all the kids. Then we went to the concert where Julianne Hough put on a great show. Hannah ended up getting to sing into the mic with Julianne along with a few of the other kids. Savannah was hilarious at the end of the show. All the kids got on stage and she of course was on the front row with the camera. It really was accidental that she had the camera. She was standing up right in front of Julianne snapping pictures with the camera. She actually got some incredible pictures.

This morning was the awards ceremony. It was an emotional but amazing ceremony. Mary Lou Retton was the guest speaker. All the kids were honored individually and received a medal. We are truly thankful for this opportunity. We have made new friendships with some these amazing Champion kids and their families. Hannah just shot a commercial with quarterback Steve Young and Hannah Horne from WIS. Look for it on the news today! Posted are a few of the pics from yesterday and last night. Also one of Savannah's pics. Maybe the start of a career for her. :-)
Thanks to all for following! Oh yeah, forgot to mention that Hannah got a serenade from country singer Mark Wills and I or may be I should say we all met Miss America.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Day One

Well, after a slight delay in Atlanta, we have made it to Disney. It was a very warm welcoming into the beautiful Coronado Springs Resort. Hannah and Savannah enjoyed playing games with the CMN volunteers. Hannah has already met quite a few of the other Champions. These kids are truly amazing. Savannah has met her a new friend Aidan. He is the champion from Illinois. Coronado Springs Resort is a very large place and seems that we will get plenty of exercise trying to cover the entire resort.

We went to Downtown Disney for dinner and ran into Aidan there. The girls enjoyed dancing and a limbo competition with him at the dance party there before dinner. Here are a couple pictures that we took today. We have breakfast at 8AM and then we will meet with Hannah Horne from WIS TV for an interview after breakfast. Thursday will be a busy day, but we are looking forward to it. Thanks to all that are keeping up with us on this wonderful trip.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hannah's Launch Party

Today was Hannah's official launch party at the West Columbia Walmart. We were joined by family, friends, Walmart associates, Aubrey Cichelli from Children's Miracle Network, and representatives from Palmetto Health Hospital. Special guests included Dr. Mac (Hannah's pediatrician), the Mayor of Orangeburg, and Hannah's friends and partners from the High Steppin' Cloggers who opened up the ceremony with a wonderful clogging routine. We would like to give a special thanks to Dr. Mac for her emotional story and very touching gifts to us. Our local Mayor, Paul Miller proclaimed this day as Hannah Bilton Day in Orangeburg County.
We also would like to thank all of our local Orangeburg friends and family for coming out to support Hannah on this special day. It shows just how special and supportive our local Orangeburg community has been and continues to be to our family. Last but not least, a very big thanks to Walmart for our gift card to help us prepare for our upcoming trip. I will try to post a few pictures from this event as soon as I can.


The Bilton Family