Gahanna Christian Academy has adopted Myah Sue Knecht as its own little princess, and the music department will present Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Cinderella" on May 12, 13 and 15 as a benefit for the 4-year-old who has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.

Gahanna Christian Academy has adopted Myah Sue Knecht as its own little princess, and the music department will present Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Cinderella" on May 12, 13 and 15 as a benefit for the 4-year-old who has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.

Arwen Rimmer, instrumental music director, said academy teachers Paul and Karen Hartje learned in February about their granddaughter's condition.

The costs for her treatment are mounting quickly, but the family refuses to give up hope, and they're pursuing every possible avenue for treatment, according to Rimmer.

Myah currently is at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis.

"Cinderella is her favorite princess," said Deb Maston, choral music director. "It's sponsored by three students. It was their idea. (Myah's) grandparents are teachers at our school, so their family is special to us. We're all doing this together."

Rimmer said many costs are associated with "Cinderella," such as obtaining the production rights, making costumes, building props and sets, designing programs and advertising.

"We beg for help in this endeavor, whether it be through donations, volunteer hours, prayer or simply just spreading the word," Rimmer said.

Juniors Sara Ohm, Erin Posey and Ashley Storts are behind the effort to help raise money for Myah's medical expenses.

"I was talking to my mom about the theater department, and she didn't think we'd have a spring play because of the Hartjes being in Memphis," Ohm said. "Mr. Hartje is our drama teacher."

Ohm heard about a teacher purchasing some princess clothes for Myah, and she wanted to do something to help, too.

"I found out who Myah's favorite princess was," Ohm said. "There were a ton of obstacles with costuming and the price for the show. God opened so many doors. Someone just donated enough money for the rights of the show."

Posey credits Ohm for the idea of the Cinderella benefit.

"I just pushed for it," she said. "The odds were stacked against us, but then everything started falling together."

The shows will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, May 12 and 13, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 15, at the academy, 817 N. Hamilton Road. Beginning at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 14, a "Princess Tea Party" will be held in honor of Myah.

"At each table of the tea party, there will be a different scene from Cinderella," Ohm said. "There will be theme decorations on the tables. It's aimed for young kids like Myah to meet Cinderella. Our superintendent is making her famous shortbread cookies. And there will be little tea snacks."

Cost for the show and tea party is $5 per ticket, with all proceeds going to the Myah Fund.

For every $10 donation over ticket costs, donors will have their names placed in a drawing for four Disney World tickets, Maston said.

To order tickets for Cinderella, call (614) 536-1601.

Anyone who wants to make a general donation to help with medical costs also could write a check to GCA and note "Myah Fund" in the memo of the check.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

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