Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Aly Raisman At American Girl Place, Chicago #giveaway #photofeature

ChiIL Mama and Sage were elated to meet Aly Raisman, Olympic Gold Medalist and Girl's Gymnastics Team Captain.

     "I'd like to get a gold medal gymnast's autograph before I'm double digits." my daughter exclaimed in the car on the way to meet Aly Raisman.   I laughed and said, "What?".

     "You know, Mom.   I'm not going to be 9 forever and after this birthday I'll probably be double digits for the rest of my life.   So this year is special to me and so is meeting my heros.   This way I have something special to remember both."   

It was indeed a special week of heros for 9 year old Sage.   Sunday we were thrilled to score press credentials to a brunch with Olympic Gold Medalist, Gabby Douglas.   Monday we met Aly Raisman at American Girl Place at Water Tower Place in downtown Chicago.    And my daughter did indeed get an autograph from one of her huge heros before she reached double digits!

Amid flashing photos from a long line of fervent fans, and a horde of TV news media cameras, Aly was composed and friendly.

In Chi-Town on 10/15,  the "golden tickets" weren't for a tour with Wonka.   300 lucky fans, families and star eyed gymnasts queued up outside of American Girl Place to meet the legendary Aly Raisman.

Young fans made good use of their line time checking out the cool window displays for American Girl's brand new historical character, Caroline Abbott, from 1812.

Check out ChiIL Mama's photo filled Caroline coverage and review of the first Caroline book here.   

Check back with ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL...early and often. We'll soon have our photo filled feature from the book signing with Kathleen Ernst, Caroline author, and a print interview with her.   We'll also have a video interview with Valerie Tripp, another historical American Girl author, and more photo filled features in the very near future.

Here's one very excited young gymnast, waiting to meet one of her heros.  She fixed her American Girl Kanani doll's hair in buns to match her own, and dressed her in an American Girl Olympic Suit, complete with a gold medal from McKenna's collection.   Kanani's even got a mini ankle brace just like Sage!

We were also jazzed to check out all the new book releases in the windows as we inched our way toward Aly.   Readers rock!

October is National Book Month, and ChiIL Mama's celebrating with a number of book reviews and give aways including a great set of brand new American Girl releases!   We'll have our book reviews and give aways up shortly and open for a month.  One of our lucky readers will win all of the following: 

*Slumber Wonders
*Bored No More
*Picture Yourself Here
*Bound for Snow  
*Find Your Way 

Meeting Aly Raisman:


Aly Raisman-Olympic Gold Medalist signs photos at American Girl Place, Chicago. Shown with 9 year old Chicago competitive gymnast, Sage. 

Aly says her favorite event is floor (her best event as well--as she took the Olympic Gold for her floor routine!). When she asked Sage what her favorite is Sage replied "I like floor, too, but my very favorite is bars."   Sage will be competing in her first USAG (Jr. Olympics) Meets this January.   She's competed the past two years in the IPDGC meets, going to state both years and taking first in state in 2010!  Like Aly, Sage started gymnastics as a toddler in Moms, Pops and Tots classes and never looked back.   Now she practices 10 hours a week with her team and does an additional 3 hours a week of circus arts like lyra, Spanish Web, Chinese Pole, acro, unicycle, juggling, trapeze and silks!

It was great to meet Aly, of course, but we also enjoyed our wait in line with our new friends, Noele and Christine.

They offered to keep Sage company while I made a food run across the street to The Cheesecake Factory for carry out, since she came straight from school and was super hungry.  We were happy to be able to return the favor and do something nice for them.  Their cell phone died right when they got up to take a picture with Aly.  We were more than happy to snap a few shots for them.   It's so great to meet new friends, sweet strangers, and people in a big city who will still step up in a neighborly way! 

You Might Also Like:

*McKenna launch party at The AmericanGirl Doll Store at Water Tower Place, Chicago (photo filled recap).

*American Girl Doll  McKenna's visit with the Chicago Comets real competitive gymnastics team (photo filled recap).

*Farewell to Kanani, Hawaiian American Girl Doll of the Year, 2011 and welcome McKenna (photo filled recap). 

Catch McKenna quickly.   McKenna and her outfits and accessories are only available through Dec. 31!

Remember to enter Caroline's heroes contest through October 31st!

Caroline's Share the HERO in YOU! Video Story Contest

Have you ever had to be brave? Enter our contest by creating a video clip (up to 60 seconds) about a time you felt like an everyday hero. You can tell a story, re-create a moment, or even act out the scene with your doll. Ask your parent to upload your video here by October 31 for your chance to win.*
Then come back November 5 to vote for one of our six finalists and help choose the winner of our grand prize, which includes a trip for four to Washington, D.C.; an extra-special day at the American Girl store; a Caroline doll, books, and accessories set; plus a VIP tour of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History to learn more about life in Caroline's day.

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