Seven-year-old Mary from Winnetka not only loves to watch cooking shows on TV but she loves to be in the kitchen herself.
For her wish, the adorable little girl wished to meet and cook with one of her heroes: Ree Drummond, also known as The Pioneer Woman. Mary had an amazing time on her wish by indulging her taste buds and making yummy creations with Ree.
Mary was born with a critical cardiac condition that requires her to have regular hospital visits and treatments. To calm her down for these trips, Mary’s mom turns on Ree Drummond’s, The Pioneer Woman cooking show and she relaxes every time. When her mom referred her to Make-A-Wish Illinois, the decision was easy for Mary— she wished to take her family all the way to The Pioneer Woman’s ranch and cook for them with Ree’s help! She couldn’t help counting down the days until her experience of a lifetime.
Mary’s wish day was finally here as she and her family rode in a limo to Ree’s hometown of Pawhuska, Oklahoma. The fun began when Mary and Ree began making a delicious salsa at the same counter that Ree films the show on. Mary and Ree were in their own cooking world making salsa and talking about all things food. After the salsa was made, Mary got to help Ree make her very special chocolate cake frosting. Ree let Mary know that the cake they made together was extra special because it is the cake she makes for all of her on their birthday. Mary's face was lit up with a bright smile the entire time.
After the extra special cake was frosted, it was time to eat. Mary and her family sat with Ree at the same table that her family eats at on the show. As they ate, Ree and Mary sat side-by-side and continued to talk about their favorite treats. After lunch and dessert, Mary and her family had some very thoughtful gifts they wanted to share with Ree. They got her some Garrett's popcorn and lots of other goodies. Ree, in turn, got the entire family a few gifts and gave Mary a basketful of fun Pioneer Woman items. Mary was elated. Ree put a cowgirl hat on Mary’s head, and Mary was smiling from ear to ear. After the exchange of gifts, it was time for them to say their good-byes.
But first, Mary had one more special surprise in store for Ree. She had brought her heart pillow, which one of her very first surgeons gave to her around the time of her first open heart surgery. Mary has saved the pillow and has had special people sign the pillow, such as doctors and physicians who have had a hand in saving her life. Mary asked Ree to then sign her pillow because she felt that Ree was one of the most special people she had ever met. Ree was so over the moon and she signed the pillow so happily.
After sweet hugs were given and good-byes were said, they piled into the limo and hit the road back into town to visit The Pioneer Woman Mercantile, Ree's shop and restaurant in downtown Pawhuska. Mary and her family shopped until they dropped. Ree and her team had given each family member a gift card to use there and they spent every single penny.
After being in and around the town, Mary asked her parents if she could get a pair of cowboy boots. A staff member at the Mercantile overheard this and arranged it so Mary could go next door and pick out whatever pair of boots she wanted on the house. After some searching, Mary finally found the perfect pair of brown leather boots with hand-stitched flowers on them. She adored her boots and wore them right out of the store. It was a perfect ending to a perfect day of making Mary's wish come true!