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A competitive barrel racer, McKella’s wish is to ride out, Hawaiian flag in hand, during the opening ceremony for the premier championship rodeo event in the U.S. (photo by Chuck McKeand)

McKella was filled with excitement as she rode out, Hawaiian flag in tow.

Wish teen Mckella loves to ride— she’s a competitive barrel racer and mugger. This true-blue paniolo didn’t let health setbacks dampen her spirits. So, it’s no wonder that her wish involves more horses and a rodeo—the National Finals Rodeo, to be exact. McKella wants to ride out, carrying the Hawaiian flag in the opening ceremony for the premier championship rodeo event in the U.S.

While the Make-A-Wish Hawaii team was waiting to hear back about McKella’s participation at the national event, Make-A-Wish Hawaii flew McKella (thanks to Island Air) to O’ahu for the Rope For Wishes fundraiser held at Kualoa Ranch in September. Like a dress rehearsal for her one-true-wish at the National Finals Rodeo, McKella rode out with the Hawaiian flag during the opening of both days of Rope For Wishes. Hawai’i’s Rodeo Community rallied around McKella and Make-A-Wish Hawaii, making Rope For Wishes a fun-filled weekend filled rodeo action … just like McKella likes it.

To give the gift of a wish to a child like McKella, or to refer a child to Make-A-Wish Hawaii, call (808) 537-3118 or visit hawaii.wish.org.