Starbucks saves girl with cerebral palsy’s senior photos after rain ruins the day

"You can tell me to screw off BUT it’s pouring, my daughter was supposed to have senior pictures outside. She is in a wheelchair, can we just come inside and take some pics?" 
July 26, 2018 10:34 am Last Updated: July 26, 2018 10:34 am

When you want it to rain, it doesn’t. When you wish it’d be a bright and sunny day, the sky is full of clouds and a thunderstorm is bound to happen. Mother Nature is funny like that.

Despite a forecast that called for rain, a photographer in Fountain, Colorado, was hopeful she and her clients could “outrun the rain” because the photo shoot they had planned couldn’t be rescheduled.

“It never rains in Fountain when it calls for rain. Well, it rained. And it rained a lot,” she wrote on Facebook.

The photo shoot was for Sydney’s senior pictures, a high school tradition for many graduating students.

“Her mom never thought she would have this experience,” Jessica Vallia, of Jessica Vallia Photography, and a family friend of Sydney, told KOAA.

Sydney, who has cerebral palsy, was scheduled to have “major surgery,” so canceling the shoot and planning another date was out of the question.

Sydney poses for her senior pictures inside a Starbucks in Fountain, Colorado. (Courtesy of Jessica Vallia Photography)

Vallia, Sydney, and Sydney’s mother, Laura, drove around town, hoping to find a dry spot to take a few photos.

“We ended up in the Starbucks parking lot because it seemed like the most trendy, teenager thing we could possibly do,” Vallia told KKTV.

Even though they were unsure about the outcome, Laura ran into the restaurant and asked the employees if her daughter could come inside and take a few photos.

“You can tell me to screw off BUT it’s pouring, my daughter was supposed to have senior pictures outside. She is in a wheelchair, can we just come inside and take some pics?” Vallia recalled Laura asking the Starbucks’ employees.

Sydney takes her senior pictures inside a Starbucks after rain forced the teenager and her photographer to change plans. (Courtesy of Jessica Vallia Photography)

To their surprise, the employees graciously agreed.

And not only did they agree to turn the coffeehouse into a backdrop for Sydney’s senior photos, but they offered to assist in any way possible.

While it was still raining, an employee walked outside with an umbrella to make sure the high school student got into Starbucks without getting soaked.

“He put it over Sydney, not over himself.” Laura told KKTV. “He was trying to shield Sydney and I from the rain.”

Chris (R) holds an umbrella and assists Sydney (L) inside Starbucks during a rainstorm. (Courtesy of Jessica Vallia Photography)

Once inside the Starbucks, employees continued to help Vallia, Sydney, and Laura make the best out of their unfortunate change of plans.

“After getting inside we were greeted with hot chocolates (made with soy milk because they were unsure of allergies… who thinks that far into it?!?! I was blown away with gratitude at this point),” Vallia wrote.

Chris, one of the employees who paid special attention to the group, even created signs for Sydney and hung them around the Starbucks.

“I was there to help, I wasn’t there to take care of myself,” he told KOAA. “I just want them to be confident going anywhere, knowing there are people who will help.”

Signs that Chris made for Sydney and hung around the coffeehouse. (Courtesy of Jessica Vallia Photography)

The photo shoot may have lasted an hour, but the memories they made will last a lifetime.

And it wouldn’t have been possible without the employees at a Starbucks in Fountain, Colorado, who were willing to open their doors on a rainy day.

“I just wanted her to have the average senior session, like any other girl and instead she got THE RED CARPET in a way I couldn’t have been more proud to be a part of!!!” Vallia wrote.

“All of these fates aligned and gave me the most perfect story for my most perfect kid, and I couldn’t ask for anything better,” Laura said.