Essay Contest Hannah Montana 6 Year Old Girl

A mother who helped her daughter fake an essay about her father dying in Iraq to win Hannah Montana concert tickets has denied trying to fool anybody.

"We never said anything like this was a true story. Never. It was just an essay. We do essays all the time. You know, my daughter does essays at school all the time," Priscilla Ceballos said. "I never lied and said that the essay was a true story."

Ceballos' daughter, 6-year-old Alexis Menjivar, beat out 1,000 other girls from the Dallas area to win four tickets to a Hanna Montana concert in Albany, N.Y. Her essay began with the powerful line, "My daddy died this year in Iraq." The letter went on to say the girl would "give mommy the angel pendant that daddy put on mommy when she was having me."

The contest's sponsor, the girls' clothing and furniture store Club Libby Lu, has since given the tickets to another unnamed contestant.

"We regret that the original intent of the contest, which was to make a little girl's holiday extra special, has not been realized in the way we anticipated," Mary Drolet, the CEO of Club Libby Lu, told The Associated Press.

Ceballos insists, however, she was not trying to fool anyone and was surprised to find out the essay was released to the media.

"When Robin asked me — Robin with the Libby Lu — when she asked me, 'Is the essay a true story?' I told her, 'No, it's not a true story. It's just an essay,' And she said, 'I'm sorry but we were under the impression that it was true so we sent it to the media.'"

While some may understand the Ceballos' desperation to attain tickets to the hottest concerts to children and tweens, others believe her actions may have caused more harm to her daughter than if she hadn't won the tickets. Some questioned whether Ceballos went too far with the tall tale.

"There is enormous pressure on parents when there is an event like this to be the ones who get their kids the tickets," said "Good Morning America" parenting contributor Anne Pleshette Murphy.

"The reality is that's not what kids remember about their childhoods," Murphy added. "What matters to children is that you're there for them, that you are trustworthy. And of course a mother who is lying like this at some point this child is going to realize can't be trusted and that's going to be a tragedy."

Ceballos claimed a roadside bomb killed her daughter's father, who she said was named Sgt. Jonathon Menjivar, on April 17, but a reporter with ABC News affiliate WFAA confirmed with the Department of Defense records that no man by that name had ever served in the military or died in Iraq.

In fact, Ceballos' mother said her granddaughter's father was alive, living in another town and the mother passed off the essay as her 6-year-old daughter's writing.

Things began unraveling Friday when officials from Club Libby Lu surprised the child at a Garland, Texas, mall, 20 miles northeast of Dallas. The girl won a makeover, which included a blond Hannah Montana wig and the grand prize, which was airfare for four to the Jan. 9 sold-out concert.

Native name

Club Libby Lu
IndustryRetail
FounderMary Drolet
HeadquartersUnited States
ProductsClothing, makeup, stuffed animals, perfume
ParentSaks Incorporated

Club Libby Lu was an experiential/experience-based retailer for girls ages five through twelve. Founded by Mary Drolet, a former executive at Claire's and Montgomery Ward, in August 2000, the store chain operated 98 stores in 28 states in the United States before closing in early 2009.

Club Libby Lu was an interactive children's retail environment that encouraged celebrating being a girl. The popular chain was created by Mary Drolet. An experience at Club Libby always began with a wish. At the front of every door was a "fairy," who would grant the wishes of people of all ages, by sprinkling fairy dust onto guests as they walked into the store. On a typical day, girls of all ages sat in front of hot pink, heart shaped mirrors, listening to hip music and were transformed into rock stars, princesses, and favorite celebrities including Miley Cyrus and Ashley Tisdale. A makeover cost between $25–$60, depending on the package of choice, and included a full up-do, nails, and makeup. In addition to playing dress up for the day, Club Libby Lu VIP's (Very Important Princesses), were guided by their Club Counselors over to various stations including a "potion bar" where a VIP could make her own lotion, perfume, fairy dust, or lip gloss, and a Pooch Parlor, where the guest could adopt a stuffed animal of their choice. At the end of every experience, each VIP was encouraged to join the free club, and was given a friendship inspired bracelet. In early November 2008, parent company Saks Incorporated announced that due to the dismal state of the economy they would be closing all 98 locations.[1][2]

Hannah Montana Essay Contest[edit]

Club Libby Lu was the subject of controversy in late December 2007 when Priscilla Ceballos of Garland, Texas made her 6-year-old daughter Alexis Menjivar write a fake essay about her father named Jonathon Menjivar as part of a contest held by the company where the winner would receive a Grand Prize of four tickets to a Hannah Montana concert in Albany, New York. In the essay, Priscilla claimed that Jonathon died in Iraq via a roadside bomb while serving in the military. While Alexis was getting a makeover in preparation for the concert at the Club Libby Lu store in Garland, Reporter Byron Harris of ABC affiliate WFAA in Dallas went to the store as part of an investigation for the station and informed Ceballos that there was no man by that name who had ever served in the military or died in Iraq. After the story surfaced and gained national attention, Alexis was disqualified and the tickets were awarded to an alternate winner, who was not identified.[3][4]

References[edit]

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