Two McDonald’s locations in Hilliard hosted a fundraiser to help 7-year-old Allie Harris’ family pay their medical bills after Allie was hit by a trailer during the parade.
Police said she left a trailer that was being used as a float along the parade route when she was hit.
She was taken to Nationwide Children’s Hospital with serious injuries, suffering more than 15 broken bones.
Since the accident, the Hilliard Community has shown unwavering support to the Harris family, and the fundraiser was the first time many community members have seen her in person since the accident.
Allie’s mom, Lauren Harris, said it feels like a miracle.
“She is braver, stronger, more beautiful than I have ever seen,” Lauren Harris said.
From the second Allie Harris walked through the door Wednesday, she had a smile on her face.
Every person at the McDonald’s fundraiser wants Allie to know they have her back.
Lauren Harris described what happened to her baby girl on July Fourth as her worst nightmare.
“I mean, it’s been a roller coaster, it’s been my worst nightmare, it’s been amazing, I mean it’s been all the feelings,” she said.
Lauren Harris’ feeling Wednesday was joy, saying the support her family has received from the community has left her speechless.
“It starts with my smile,” she said. “I literally can’t take it off my face. I’m so thankful, I’m so happy, she’s so happy. I am just so thankful that she is here. I am so thankful that we get to have anything to support her because I get to continue to be her mom because there were days that I didn’t know if that was going to be the case.”
McDonald’s management said they had no doubt they wanted to help this family.
Brock Ostavitz, the area supervisor, said they put up a sign after the accident to show support and now it has grown much more.
“We really wanted Allie to know that Hilliard backed her and she had the support of the entire community,” Ostavitz said.
Fifteen percent of all digital sales will go to the Harris family, including mobile app ordering or scanning the app in-store.
Allie had the chance to enjoy her favorite snacks, get her face painted and reunite with some of the people her mom calls “angels.”
“I happened to be at the parade on the day of the accident and I happened to be very close by, so I fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, was able to help tend to her,” said Missy Brown. “I was covered in goosebumps, holding back tears. It’s just amazing to see how well she is doing.”
Lauren Harris said the support shown by the community is something she will always hold onto.
“I’ve always thought my daughter was beautiful — every mother does — but with her little crooked smile from her numbness from her surgery and all that, she’s never been more beautiful,” she said.
Allie Harris has a message she wants to share as well.
“Thank you for helping me get better,” she said.
Allie’s mom said she is expected to make a full recovery and is hoping to be back on the softball field next month.