Today, I wanted to introduce Enchanted Encounters. I met Lisa Coruzzi by chance at a recent Project Dinner Table event at the Smith Center. My bride for next February works for Gaia Flowers and she extended an invitation to me. I was thrilled to be able to join her. Lisa knows my bride from Gaia Flowers so I met her that evening!
Below is Lisa’s story and how she came to developing the idea for Enchanted Encounters.
Enchanted Encounters is a brand new cause in Las Vegas, aiming to become a full-blown non-profit organization upon the expansion of more Princesses and experience. It was created by local students Lisa Coruzzi and Saliha Lezha in October 2012.
Saliha and I have known each other for a few years and have grown very close. We share an interest and love for Disney and the overall idea of fairytales. We began recognizing physical similarities in each other’s features to Disney Princesses Belle (Beauty and the Beast) and Snow White, granting each other the nicknames “Belle” and “Snow.” We even began discovering more and more similarities we have with our Princesses, not just physically (ie My admiration of books and French culture, and Saliha’s love for snow).
As a result, I grew closely tied emotionally with Princess Belle, as did Saliha, and I began expressing interest in impersonating Belle for Disneyland one day (mostly for the glitz of being able to dress up like Belle). Upon researching how to get a job with Disney, I came across many videos of young children visiting with Belle there. Watching these videos made me realize that there is a lot more to these Princesses than a pretty face and a beautiful gown. To children, Princesses are the epitome of hope, fantasy, imagination, love, bliss, beauty, etiquette, magic and more. To adults, children are the closest thing we’ve got in this sinful world to all of these things. Seeing these children light up with joy upon visiting the Princesses sparked something inside of me, especially when I came across a video of a little girl who initially appeared to have had little-to-no hair on her head. It made me think to myself, “wow, imagine all the little girls out there who wish nothing more but to meet these Princesses”. It’s a common dream among them. Anything Disney related, for that matter, is likely to be included in any (possibly, final) wishes of sick children. This notion tugged at my heart, and made me want to work for Disney even more! But when I shared a photo of this young girl with Belle to Saliha captioned “I wanna be these babies’ hero,” Saliha came up with the idea of doing it locally here in Vegas- by going to the sick children here. A commonality among sick children undergoing treatment is their financial instability, and proneness to germs that prevent them from going out much. With Saliha’s suggestion, however, we can bring Disney to THEM! Luckily, we were blessed with a local seamstress, Cathie France (Custom Gowns by Cathie) who helped us out A LOT and provided us with our beautiful gowns, essentially putting it all together (such customized gowns usually run close to $1,000).
Our motto is “Everyone Deserves a fairtytale.” We wish to bring fairytales and dream come-trues into the lives of these children.
Having made quite a few visits now, I can assure you that these children give more to me than I do them. Their hugs, smiles and laughter have given me all new reason to get out of bed every morning, and have made a huge impact on my life.
To schedule Belle and Snow White at an upcoming event, please send a detailed request, including cause/organization name and benefit, to BelleandSnow@yahoo.com. Their services are 100% non-profit.