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Peyton's Adventure Inspires the Float

December 1, 2015 | Rose Bowl

Parade ThemeSo how does a sweet girl from a small town in Texas get thrust into the national spotlight? Easy—she dreams big.

Peyton Richardson’s day started with a visit to her oncologist at Texas Children’s Hospital. Dr. ZoAnn Dreyer completed Peyton’s normal checkup; but before sending her off to have chemo, Peyton remembers, “She asked if I wanted to enter a video contest about what my greatest adventure would be.”

Peyton said, “Of course, but just what would that adventure be? It took me a while to think about what exactly I wanted to do, but I knew that it would have to be with dance.”

By the next day she knew. “My greatest adventure would be to travel all around the world, visiting the greatest ballet companies and taking a class with each of their principal dancers.”

I Never Win Anything!

Peyton worked with her parents to make a submission video and send it off to Dr. Dreyer and, eventually, to the contest selection team at Northwestern Mutual.

It took a while to hear back, but eventually Peyton’s mom, Carrie, got a phone call saying that the video was great and that Northwestern Mutual wanted to use Peyton’s great adventure as its inspiration for a float in the 2016 Rose Parade in Pasadena, California.

Carrie recalls, “I said, ‘Are you sure?” And I just started crying, and I was just humbled.” She filled her husband in, too, but that was it. They were told to keep the winning secret from Peyton for a while so they could set up a surprise call to fill her in and tape her reaction.

Delayed Reaction

When Peyton did find out, she was in shock. “It took about two days for it to really sink in because I don’t really win a lot of things. I was kind of shocked at first. It’s really cool. “I think so far my favorite part has been helping to design a float. So pretty!”

Peyton and her parents will also ride in the parade on the Northwestern Mutual Dancing into Adventure float on New Year’s Day. Peyton tells us, “I can’t wait.”

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