Even before Malik Little made his entrance, the school was abuzz.
Malik Madness unofficially began at 3 p.m., when sports radio 1310 The Ticket’s Corby Davidson and Mike Rhyner held court inside Lake Highlands High School’s big gym foyer broadcasting live. In between discussing March Madness, Mick Jaggar and such, they made frequent reference to Malik, encouraging donors to give generously to Merriman Park Elementary’s fifth grader with lymphoma. They interviewed Mavs owner Mark Cuban at length about Malik, thanking him for the many ways his team supported the event. (My personal swooning moment was when Dallas Cowboys heartthrob Charlie Waters, who still lives in Lake Highlands, came in with vintage team photos and a check for Malik.)
You can see my photos here.
Next, Girl Scout Troop #1223 came in like a well-oiled machine and organized the fund-raising games and raffle display. (I’m pretty sure they’re ready to take over Apple Inc.) Their basketball-playing classmates arrived next to warm up on the court, followed by the Mavs Maniaacs, the LHHS drumline, and mascots from LHHS, MPE and the Dallas Mavericks.
Though he was weak from treatment and donning a face mask to protect his delicate immune system, Malik was the hero of the day. He received two official Mavericks jerseys (home and away) signed by the team, presented by emcee Dallas City Councilman Jerry Allen and Champ, mascot for the Mavs.
Also in attendance to support Malik were two friends who have a pretty good understanding of how he feels. Beth Lyons, MPE kindergarten teacher who recently overcame leukemia, and Hannah English, who is in remission from leukemia but still receiving treatment.
Nice job, Girl Scouts.