Operation: get Elise to Disneyworld

Elise, 9, out the front of her music school (Damjan Janevski). 409157_04

They say it takes a village to raise a child.

In this case, however, it takes a village to send that child to America so she can sing for Disney.

Elise Hetherington is a nine-year-old Melton local who has been chosen to audition at Disney’s International Showcase in Orlando, Florida.

Her father Matthew says Elise’s goal has been clear from the start.

“Her dream has always been to sing on stage, especially for Disney,” he says.

After a series of auditions via Zoom, Elise was selected to go to Sydney for a showcase event. However, the trip was costly.

“I decided to drain every bit of soup I had to get to Sydney, and I don’t really have anything left,” Matthew says.

Registration just to enter the showcase is $890, and tickets to watch are $175. Flights, accommodation, and passports will cost about $4000 each.

But Matthew says it’s worth every cent.

“If she goes on and gets a gig with Disney or Disney Australia it would be extremely life changing for her,” he said.

The community has already started to rally around Elise, with Melton council and Elise’s music school getting involved.

Jasmine Lynch is Elise’s singing teacher and manager of Melton Music. She says Elise’s success would be a good boost for the area.

“It’s like a claim for Melton really – this girl who made it on Disney is a local. How could you not want to get behind that?” she says.

“She just needs help getting there but she’s got the talent and the drive to make it once she gets that chance.”

To donate to the GoFundMe page, visit: www.gofundme.com/f/funding-the-voice-of-an-angel

Eddie Russell