BELDEN • Last year, Tupelo Christian Preparatory School raised funds to grant the wishes of two local kids, and this year, the school partnered with Smithville High School to grant Jace Eli Bond’s wish to spend the day with his favorite thing: cars.

The four-year-old from New Albany was taken to Tupelo Christian Preparatory School in Belden Wednesday morning where he was greeted by family and taken to the parking lot for a classic car scavenger hunt. The school put together the hunt with the help of the Tupelo Car Club.

Bond has tuberous sclerosis complex, which, according to the TSC Alliance, causes tumors to form in organs such as the brain. Guardian and aunt Tracy Butler said Bond experiences seizures as a result of his condition.

But the car enthusiast showed nothing but happiness at the scavenger hunt on Wednesday. A big fan of the Disney Pixar movie “Cars,” Bond happily searched around rows of classic vehicles from trucks to Corvettes to find prizes and check out some sweet wheels.

Tracy Butler said Bond stays at home with her husband, who is disabled, and the family often watches “Cars,” together.

“He loves to be around anything that has to do with cars,” Tracy Butler said with a smile.

“And he likes anything outdoors,” Robert Butler added.

Tupelo and Smithville students also enjoyed the car show, and the big smile on Bond’s face.

As an annual service project, TCPS works with Make-A-Wish each year to try to grant a couple of local wishes. This year, the school partnered with Smithville High School to raise money for the project.

Robin Herrod with TCPS coordinates with Make-A-Wish each year for the service project and said the two schools have a challenge during football season to raise money for a good cause. Herrod said the school started doing the project about six or seven years ago.

This year, approximately $14,000 was raised toward granting the wishes of local children. Herrod said the school does a variety of activities throughout the year to raise funds for the project, from in-class competitions to selling snacks and making and selling homemade gifts during the holidays.

“Our students are all in when it comes to doing activities for this,” Herrod said.

TCPS Senior Anna Lowrey Herrod helped organize the Make-A-Wish project this year and said the kids’ reactions to seeing their wishes granted is different every year, but the constant reaction is joy.

“It’s different every time, but it still feels the same and it’s really heartwarming to see the families be able to see joy on their kids’ face after so long and after so many long treatments,” Herrod said.

“We worked hard all year long to get this ready.”

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