Brooklyn Van Reede may be small in stature, but her big personality caught the attention of country singer Garth Brooks in Regina on the weekend — bringing her 21st birthday wish to life.
The four-foot-tall Winnipegger, decked out in a fabulous pink sash and a flashy tiara, was serenaded by the American superstar during his performance in Regina on Saturday.
Van Reede, who has Down syndrome, was in Saskatchewan for her birthday to attend two Brooks shows in a row with her mother.
“Brooklyn has been a really big Garth Brooks fan for as long as I can remember,” Tammy Wasylowski, her mom, told Ismaila Alfa on CBC Manitoba’s Up To Speed Tuesday afternoon.
At the first show, on Friday, Van Reede, who is four feet tall, showed off a handmade sign that read “My birthday wish is to meet Garth Brooks,” Wasylowski said.
He mouthed “Nice crown” and silently acknowledged Van Reede, who is non-verbal, in the middle of a song later on in the show.
“We may not get to meet him, but we can definitely get a happy birthday song out of him,” Wasylowski told her daughter.
‘Worked our magic’
On Saturday, the two went to town in their efforts to get a birthday tune out of Brooks.
“We worked our magic,” Wasylowski said.
They showed up with a bunch of little signs begging Brooks to make her dream a reality. Dozens of fans took the signs and held them up.
“So when Garth came out for the encore, there was 30 signs all saying ‘Please give Brooklyn her birthday wish,’ and then of course he was like, ‘What the heck?'”
Brooks spotted the signs, wondered out loud what they said, then sang happy birthday to Van Reede in front of tens of thousands of fans.
It was the moment she’d longed for.
“Brooklyn is just a magnet for love and so it was easy to get people on board that this was a wonderful thing for him to do,” Wasylowski said.
Brooks got down on the floor and looked into Van Reede’s eyes as he sang.
“It’s amazing. It always restores my faith in humanity when people are super generous,” Wasylowski said.
“For a mom, it’s everything. It’s everything I wanted for her.”