PORTLAND, Maine – A Maine girl battling a life-threatening autoimmune disease dreamed of going to Disney World. Thanks to the collaboration of Disney, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Transportation Security Administration team at Portland International Jetport, her dream came true. The girl, named Alice, just celebrated her sixth birthday in the Magic Kingdom.
The big celebration started at Maine’s Portland International Jetport. When Alice and her family, residents of Somerset County, Maine, arrived, they were immediately greeted by several popular Disney characters – Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Winnie the Pooh, and Tigger, too.
TSA Transportation Security Manager Richard Powell, TSA Stakeholder Liaison Janine Hodel, and TSA officers Kairi Skye and Nichole Greenwood assisted the family from start to finish – helping them check in, escorting them to the checkpoint, guiding them through each step of the screening process, and accompanying them to their gate.
“Once I started talking to the kids, it was very easy and fun to help them through everything,” said Greenwood. “I think involving all of the kids was important, as well as making sure Alice felt like a queen. I enjoyed helping make the process stress-free for the parents and making sure their vacation started off right. I loved seeing the smiles on their faces.”
Skye, who also serves as a TSA Passenger Support Specialist, said it felt great to see everyone at TSA involved. “I love working with people, be it adults or kids, and it was a great cause,” she said. “Being a Passenger Support Specialist really helps highlight the good we do working with passengers like Alice and her family.”