An extra special outpouring of thanks from WHS grad - Republic-Times | News

An extra special outpouring of thanks from WHS grad

By on November 20, 2012 at 11:30 am

Pictured with Allie Snodgrass (center) during the Nov. 3 ceremony, from left, are Waterloo Fire Department members Dave Debourge, Joe Krump, and Bob Straub, Shriners Past Potenate Ken Snyder, Illustrious Sir Bill Hill, Joyce Wheat, Kevin Wheat and Sami Wheat and firemen Merl Doerr, Bruce Kohnz and Aaron Shive. (submitted photo)

Though the mental and physical scars remain, Allie Snodgrass has grown to complete a successful high school education with a very bright future ahead.

Snodgrass, a 2012 Waterloo High School graduate who serves as patient ambassador of Shriners Hospitals for Children, was a special guest speaker during the Ainad Shriners of Illinois Fall Ceremonial event in East St. Louis on Nov. 3. Snodgrass offered thanks to the Shriners for all they have done to get her to this point in life.

Snodgrass, now a freshman at Saint Louis University, told of her experience as a patient with Shriners Hospital in Cincinnati.

Her mother, Joyce Wheat, step-father, Kevin Wheat, and sister, Sami Wheat, joined immediate family and members of the Waterloo Fire Department for the special occasion.

When she was just a little child, Snodgrass was severely burned in a car accident that occurred back in December 1997. Her father perished in the crash.

The Ainad Shriners said Snodgrass was the first of their patients to be transported by private aircraft for treatments in Cincinnati, then known as the Ainad Shriners Pilot Unit. It was their inaugural year.

She was escorted into the Nov. 3 ceremony by WFD personnel, and offered her thanks to all nobles of Ainad, past and present, by presenting them with the following poem:

“I am certain I am here because of all of you,
And I am sure you take for granted all that you can do.
But I am here to tell you, so that you’ll always know,
My thankfulness for all you did, this gift will try to show.
My gratitude forever, for being there for me,
For doing all you did so that a future I may see.
I know that there’s a road ahead, the struggle may be long,
But you showed courage once for me and I too will be strong.
With mom to love and guide me and the spirit of my dad,
And all the love of family, I’ll try not to be sad.
But count my blessings every day, you’re there with all the rest,
Because of you, I have my life and I’ve been truly blessed.”

Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.