If you ask nine year-old Mikylah what she wants to be when she grows up, she’ll tell you she wants to be the first person to put a robot on the sun.
“Nobody has ever done that before,” she says matter-of-factly, “and it’s okay if I fail. I just want to try something new.”
It’s a bold ambition. And while Mikylah can’t claim that distinction just yet, she can say she is the first caterpillar artist to win the Flutter at the Fountain’s People’s Choice award, for which she was able to direct $1,000 of the fundraiser’s proceeds. She shares that distinction with artist Vanessa Davisson’s butterfly, Rebirth and its sponsor Sami Fine Jewelry, both of whom also won the honor of directing $1,000 of Flutter proceeds to the nonprofit of their choice.
Vanessa chose to direct funds to the Fountain Hills Theater and Sami Fine Jewelry chose Tender Little Hearts Mini Tales and Assisted Equine Services. Mikylah, who regularly donates the spare change her mother gives her to homeless people, chose to direct her award to Extended Hands Food Bank.
“I like helping people,” she said. “I think giving money to Extended Hands will help those people eat.”
Mikylah and other members of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale’s McKee Branch spent time in the art room prior to the 2022 Flutter at the Fountain creating caterpillar receptacles for the People’s Choice Awards. Each caterpillar teamed up with a butterfly creation to accept monetary donations from the public at large. Approximately $1,200 was raised through the voting, all of which helped contribute to the third-annual fundraiser’s record-breaking $60,000 total. Those monies will be distributed to 30 local nonprofit organizations at the Fountain Hills Community Foundation’s annual gifting day and membership meeting on March 30 at DC Bar and Grill.
Like most nine year olds, Mikylah takes her People’s Choice award in stride. When she isn’t playing with her kitties Pixie and Ashton or being artistic, you may find her engaged with other favorite pastimes such as making s’mores or eating hot wings, saving money, playing football, and hanging out with her friends at the Boys & Girls Club. Little does she know that even if she never puts a robot on the sun, with a heart as big as her ambition, the impact she makes on the Fountain Hills community will be every bit as remarkable.