Children's Hospital palliative care patients get a new ride
The crowd, consisting of Sweet Potato Queen wannabes, Friends of Children's Hospital representatives, Zippity Do Dah organizers, and Batson patients and staff pose in from of the new van. Photo courtesy of Paul Wolf and Fondren Renaissance.

Kicking off the 2015 Zippity Doo Dah Festival Weekend, Batson Children’s Hospital’s palliative care patients got a new ride thanks to proceeds from the 2014 festival.

The theme was “Bravehearts for Batson.” The event also honored writer/producer Randall Wallace (Braveheart, The Man in the Iron Mask), who donated a majority of the cost of a specially equipped Ford E250 van for transporting palliative care patients on “field trips” outside the hospital. 

The Sweet Potato Queen Jill Conner Browne, back row, right, Wallace, back row, second from right, and Fondren Renaissance Foundation executive director Jim Wilkirson, back row, second from left, present the van’s keys to Friends of Children’s Hospital board chair Sara Ray, back row, third from left, and Dr. Rick Boyte, back row, seventh from right, professor and division chief of pediatric palliative care. Also joining in the presentation are Members of the Queens Classy Mates, Friends board members and palliative care patients, front row, from left, DeAsia Scott, Deontay Isaac and William Currie.

Jennifer Hospodor