The line wrapped around the corner of the Rusty Taco in Tyler as fans of Disney Channel’s “Shake it Up” came to see one of the stars of the show Davis Cleveland, who plays Flynn Jones.
Maci, 10, has cystic fibrosis and, through a video post on her Twitter account, connected with Davis. The 10-year-old television star watched her video and decided to become involved.
He invited her and her family to meet him in Los Angeles, where they visited Disneyland and met the cast of “Shake it Up.”
From there the friendship blossomed. Now the Drewrys go to LA twice a year for cystic fibrosis fundraisers and Davis and his family come to Tyler to assist with fundraisers here.
“My favorite part is that it didn’t have that much publicity,” Davis said of fundraising for cystic fibrosis.
He said those people involved in the fundraising have been superb and because he loves and appreciates Maci he is happy to be involved.
Maci very much appreciates his participation.
“I’m really excited for him to support (me) and come down and support cystic fibrosis and my walk,” she said Thursday while sitting in director’s chair next to Davis as he signed autographs.
Carrie Wright, one of the Rusty Taco owners, said they want to be a part of the community and give back, so when Maci’s mother contacted them and asked if they’d be interested, they readily agreed.
The restaurant donated 20 percent of its sales during the two-hour window to Maci for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Ms. Wright said she had handed out at least 300 photos of Davis for autographs. She estimated several hundred more adults also were in attendance.
Caleb Penny and Austin Bodeman were among the many fans on hand to meet Davis.
“I really like his show,” Austin, 8, a third-grader from Tyler, said. “It’s really cool he’s right there.”
Makala Moore, 19, a fifth-grader from Tyler, described herself as a huge fan. She came with a couple friends to meet Davis.
“It was awesome,” she said after taking a photo with him.
Kelly Boyken, 10, also a fifth-grader from Tyler, clutched her autographed picture and said she planned to put it on her wall.
Maci has raised $100,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation this year alone. She and her family participate in multiple fundraising opportunities here and in LA.
Mrs. Drewry said Maci’s enthusiasm and drive to find a cure has pushed their whole family to work harder in their efforts.
She said when Maci was younger she was more shy about the disease, but when she turned 8, it was like a switch went off.
She started saying things like, “I’m going to cure CF. I’m going to do this. I’m going to raise money,” Mrs. Drewry said. “She has pushed me to raise harder.”
Maci said she is thankful for all the people who have supported her and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, especially Davis and his family.
“I just want to see a really good cure found and I hope everyone raises money to find a cure,” she said.