‘It’s like a dream’

Published 1:38 am Wednesday, February 20, 2019

‘Cookies’ to feature carriage rides this year

For Merrill Ann Culverhouse, being Cinderella for Meredith’s Miracles’ productions is like a dream come true.

“My favorite princess growing up was Cinderella,” the Opp High School senior said. “I have ALWAYS been fascinated with her shoes and her kindness to little Gus Gus.”

This weekend will mark the fourth year she’s acted as Cinderella for Meredith’s Miracles’ annual Cookies with Characters.  (See schedule here) This year’s show – a celebration of Mickey Mouse’s birthday – is “hosted” by Mary Poppins (Alyssa Jones). The Disney princesses will arrive by carriage, and after the show, the carriage will be available to take little princesses for rides.

Culverhouse said children react to her character in different ways.

“Some kids are curious, some are shy, some are terrified, and some are very inquisitive,” she said. “I try to make each child feel special and enjoy my time with each one!”

Meredith’s Miracles is a non-profit organization which assists parents with non-medical expenses when their children have to leave the area for specialty care. Services are provided to those within 26 counties in south Alabama.

Culverhouse said that’s one reason she loves working with the charity.

“I absolutely LOVE making kids smile,” she said. “It also makes me proud that Meredith’s Miracles has been able to help so many families in our area. In all honesty that is what it’s about.”

In pageants, Culverhouse has used colon cancer awareness as a platform, and helped to get a colon cancer awareness tag approved in Alabama, the nation’s second. She became interested in this issue after her father was diagnosed with cancer.

The two causes are similar, she said.

“The big picture here is helping others,” she said. “That is exactly what I want to do with my work with colon cancer awareness.”

Culverhouse plans to enroll in Auburn University in the fall, and plans to study nutrition/wellness and philanthropy nonprofit management, with a long-term goal of dental school.