FAIRVIEW, Ala. – There are many amazing people out there who do a lot to help others. Whether it’s paying it forward at a restaurant or store or befriending someone who is struggling. Or you may be surprised by a 5-year-old girl named Chandlyn Ellis giving you a giant hug during a halftime show. That came true for Fairview Head Majorette Riley Tucker a couple weeks ago during the Aggie Band’s halftime show at the Fairview v. Crossville game Oct. 8.
“I was on the field; I was doing the halftime performance,” Tucker said. “I was in the middle of something, then I looked down and there was this little girl. She just runs up, and I thought, ‘What is happening?’ She said, ‘Can I have one?’ I said, ‘No ma’am you can’t’ because I had to run back, and she was telling me all of these things and then she just runs off. She gave me a hug and she ran off. Accidents happen, you know, and I think that plays into the friendship because we met in very unfortunate circumstances.”
Tucker said the reaction from everyone in the stands wasn’t surprising, and she hopes her friendship with Ellis grows stronger after the on-field encounter.
“Everybody was just shocked and amazed by what happened,” Tucker said. “My dad was definitely amazed.”
Tucker’s father, Mikey Tucker, added, “The crowd went wild. When the little girl hugged her, the crowd went wild,” Tucker said.
The high school majorette said she thinks what happened during the halftime performance really helped out community-wise at an already close-knit Fairview school.
“I think it’ll help out the Fairview community by just knowing that there’s still good people out there and knowing that not everyone is a bad person,” she said. “Everyone at Fairview is really nice, and knowing that I think it’ll really help out the Fairview community.”
“This is a tight-knit community,” said her dad. “We travel very well to the away games and pack the stands at the home games. It doesn’t matter if the football team is doing good or bad. It was a very touching story and it’s been all over Facebook. Good things happen to good people and I’m very proud of my daughter. I’m tickled. It was touching. The crowd just started cheering for that little girl. We were all looking at her and she just walked up and hugged Riley. I thought it was very good of my daughter when she went up into the stands to find her. She found her and gave her a hug and it was awesome. We need to see more good things in the world than the bad stuff.”
Tucker and her dad hope more stories like this will continue popping up all over the community.
“I definitely hope that more stories like this happen because it just helps people know that nothing’s wrong, like everything’s good in the world,” she said. “That’s how the world should be. With everything that’s going on, it’s just nice to have that comfort of knowing that good things are still happening.”
“It’s kind of like the stories you see on ESPN, and that’s what made me feel good. There are still some good people in the world; not everything is bad,” Mikey Tucker added. “You need to see as much good as you do bad.”
Riley Tucker said she was met with a warm welcome at school the following Monday.
“My band director said he heard what happened,” Tucker said. “He said, ‘That was a nice thing that you did,’ and I said, ‘Thank you.’ Everyone knew about it. It was amazing. I don’t really like the attention to be on me. I’d like the attention to be on everyone else.”
Her dad added, “I wasn’t surprised at all. Not in this community. Chris Gambrill, the principal at Fairview, is a very good guy. He’s good to all of the kids here at Fairview, so if something good happens to any kid, he’s going to be proud of them.”
Tucker gave some advice to people that watched what happened during the halftime show that night.
“If something like that happens, and you know she wasn’t supposed to be on the field, don’t say anything about it. Just let it happen,” she said. “Just keep your thoughts and negativity to yourself.”
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