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Rylie's Smile dance party raises funds in Rehoboth

Foundation provides iPods to children facing serious illness
Friends (l-r) Kenedy Welch, Sofie Turner, Kala Belfont, Rylie Maedler, Kali Pennington and Sophia Belfont join together as 'The Glitter Girls' for song and dance at the 2nd annual community fundraiser for the Rylie's Smile Foundation. BY MOLLY MACMILLAN
April 30, 2016

Rylie Maedler is making more news.

This time, it's because the 10-year-old Rehoboth Elementary student recently hosted a second annual community fundraiser for her Rylie's Smile Foundation at Nicola Pizza and brought in the bucks.

Youthful voices could be heard singing along to songs like the "Frozen" favorite, "Let it Go" for blocks along Rehoboth Avenue as the Maedler family rallied support for the foundation, which provides iPods for children who are battling life-threatening illness.

"It's really fun, and I'm pretty sure we are raising a lot of money," Rylie said, in between sets at the sing-along dance party she was having with friends in the upstairs dining room of Nicola Pizza on the Avenue.

Meanwhile, her mother, Janie Maedler, was downstairs, organizing the silent auction, selling cupcakes and keeping tabs on the checks that were rolling in for her daughter's foundation.

"It's been busy," Janie said. "We think we did better than last year, but it's hard to tell."

At last count, the event pulled in more than $5,600 for the foundation.

She said several large checks came in from Sons of the American Legion and Wounded Warrior Foundation, while Sen. Ernie Lopez, R-Lewes, who sponsored Rylie's Law to provide legal access to marijuana and cannabinoids for children battling life-threatening illness, stopped in to drop off his own check for the foundation.

"This is awesome," Lopez said. "It's just validation for me to see the tremendous love the community has for her and her foundation."

The senator said even now, nearly a year after Rylie's Law passed, he continues to work on legislation that will ease suffering for Rylie and other children throughout the state.

For more information, go to Rylie's Smile Foundation on Facebook or Ryliessmilefoundation.org.