Makenzey Ivy, 7, of Waxahachie has been called a hero, and now she has a new title — princess.
Ivy, a Dunaway student, was named the Crape Myrtle Festival’s Crape Myrtle Princess in a brief ceremony Thursday by the Crape Myrtle Council in honor of her heroic actions to save her grandparents and younger sister from a fire in January.
“She’s just a very special young lady,” Waxahachie Fire Chief David Hudgins said as a certificate, wand, crown and title were conferred upon a shyly smiling Ivy.
Ivy’s story begins in the frigid, pre-dawn hours of Jan. 14, when she awoke on her grandparents’ couch to find their home on fire.
“I just raced to my Grandma and told her what happened,” she recalled.
Ivy’s grandparents, Debbie and Randy Rich of Red Oak, hustled Ivy and her younger sister, Kennedy, out of the home just in time.
Ivy’s parents, Kelley and Michael Ivy, couldn’t be prouder.
“It was a very brave thing that she did,” Kelley said. “If she had not been that courageous, we probably would have lost everybody…she literally saved everyone’s lives.”
Makenzey said it felt great to be honored, and that she was looking forward to riding in her own car during the Crape Myrtle Festival’s Fourth of July parade on Wednesday.
“I like being a princess and pretty,” she said, adding that her framed princess certificate will go in a special place in her room with her other awards.
“We were very surprised that she got to be honored,” Kelley said. “This just gives her confidence that she can do things that she puts her mind to.”
Bonney Ramsay, chair of the Crape Myrtle Festival, said they were honored to have Makenzey as this year’s princess.
“We’re so proud of you, and we thank you for wanting to be our little princess this year,” she said. “You did a beautiful job saving your grandparents and little sister.”
Parade marshals Bill and Charleene Pitts were also honored at the gathering for their patriotism and contributions to the community, recalling life during World War II and their connections to Waxahachie.
“We’ve been so blessed in so many, many ways,” Charleene said.
Nancy Hightower of the Crape Myrtle Council said the Pittses were worthy choices to serve as parade marshals.
“We just don’t have any better people than you all for patriotism,” she said.