Noblesville girl designs ornament for Riley


By Mark Ambrogi


Kilyn Dripps of Noblesville is one of three child artists to create a design for Riley holiday ornaments. (Submitted photo)

Kilyn Dripps of Noblesville is one of three child artists to create a design for Riley holiday ornaments. (Submitted photo)

Kilyn Dripps is doing her share to help other Riley kids.

The second grader at Hinkle Creek Elementary in Noblesville designed a snowmen ornament.

A total of 10,000 ornaments were made for sale with Kilyn’s design. The ornament sales benefit The Gift of Hope Happens Here campaign. The giving campaign, supported statewide by Fifth Third Bank and Indiana Blood Center, raises funds and provides hope to families seeking help for seriously ill and injured children.

“I was so excited to be able to do the ornament because I got to help raise money for Riley kids,” Kilyn said.

In June 2009, Kilyn was born with tumors underneath her eye and an interrupted aortic arch and a large ventricular septal defect.

She spent her first months in the Riley Hospital for Children’s Newborn Intensive Care Unit in Indianapolis. Kilyn underwent her first open-heart surgery to repair her interrupted aortic arch at only one week old. At 2 years old, Kilyn’s ventricular septal defect was repaired in her second open-heart surgery.

Kilyn is legally blind in her left eye and wears a pacemaker as a result of her heart surgeries. She has had 15 surgeries, mostly on her eye.

Tara Dripps, her mother, said Kilyn is very energetic and does gymnastics once a week.

“She runs a lemonade stand every July, and this year it was for Riley,” Dripps said.

Kilyn raised enough to purchase a Riley Wagon for smaller kids at the hospital.

“When she was in the hospital, that (wagon) was one thing she absolutely loved,” Dripps said. “We would stick her in the wagon to get her out of bed and walk her around for a little bit.”

Because of that contribution, Riley Children’s Foundation representatives asked Kilyn if she would be an artist this year.

“She’s kind of a mini-celebrity in Noblesville. Everybody knows who she is,” Dripps said.

Previously, a holiday card Kilyn designed for Riley sold out in a week-and-a-half.

The ornament can be purchased at Speedway convenience stores.

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