Makenna spreads Chris-Thomas cheer

Raquel Rossi, Opinion Editor

Many things represent the holiday season: candy canes, presents, snow.
But arguably the most prominent symbol of the holiday season is the Christmas tree, and this year, Christmas trees have an extra special meaning for junior Makenna Thomas.
Thomas participated in an annual fundraiser held by Seattle Children’s Hospital, called the Festival of Trees. The fundraiser auctions off decorated trees, each dedicated to a Seattle Children’s Hospital patient. Thomas is one of these patients. Two years ago, Thomas was diagnosed with an atypical meningioma, a type of tumorous cancer, in her spine. She had to go through chemotherapy and other extensive recovery programs at Seattle Children’s Hospital.
“Having cancer was hard, and I went through a lot. I’m not glad I went through it, obviously, but there are some good things that have come out of it. I learned a lot of things about myself that I didn’t really know, and I’ve gotten a lot stronger than I thought I could be,” Thomas said.
This year, Thomas had a tree dedicated to her, and she was invited to go to the gala event where the tree auctioning took place.
“We raised $500,000 for compensated care at Children’s that night. It’s amazing how generous people can be,” Thomas said.
But Thomas is one to talk about generosity. Not only did she participate in the Seattle Children’s fundraiser, she is also working to spread holiday cheer in a different way, one that combines her passion for dance with her outgoing personality.
If you visit Bellevue Square’s Snowflake Lane, it’s likely you’ll see Thomas, who is one of the Snowflake Lane dancers. She is accompanied by other dancers, characters, stilt walkers and many eager spectators who line the streets to watch the parade.
“Everyone is so happy, and they love seeing us. Plus, I get to interact with a lot of people and so it’s super fun,” Thomas said.
Being a Snowflake Lane dancer may seem like an easy job, but it’s a lot of hard work. Thomas works every single night.
From November 29 to December 24, Thomas has a grueling schedule. She leaves her house at 4:45, dances outside in the cold for more than an hour, and on top of that, doesn’t get home until around 8:30.
However, Makenna thinks it’s worth it.
“It has been the most fun thing I have ever done, and I’ve learned so much,” Thomas said. “Before we go out, my coworkers say that anything that is happening, anything you have going on in your life, just leave it out the door. It’s not worth giving these people a bad show. I think that’s a good mindset to have.”