Little Silver resident Tim McLoone and Holiday Express have been performing at Blythedale Children’s Hospital for more than 20 years. Lanie Pearce, who has cerebral palsy, has been in the audience since she was 5 years old. In honor of Lanie, who is now 25, Tim McLoone wrote, and with the help of several Holiday Express musicians and singers, recorded, “A Girl Named Lanie”, a fun-loving country music song.
While McLoone has seen Lanie every year, once a year, for 20 years, he was frustrated that he was never able to get to know Lanie, because she is non-verbal. Surprisingly, not long ago, McLoone received an email that said, “Hi, it’s me, Lanie.” She revealed to Tim that she could communicate with him through email, with a technology that allows her to “type” with her eyes.
The two became quick friends and learned lots about each other, including the fact that while Lanie enjoys the music that Holiday Express performs, she really prefers country music. Thus, McLoone wrote, “A Girl Named Lanie.”
McLoone and Holiday Express musicians and vocalists, including Bob Boyd, Mark Murphy, Jim Celestino, Roger Taylor, Amy Broza, Maureen McCrink, Hannah McLoone, BethAnne Clayton, and special guest Gary Oleyar on violin, recorded the song at Jankland recording studio. A songwriting credit also goes to Gary Phillips. Lanie and her mom were invited to the recording.
Holiday Express is a nonprofit organization that delivers music, food, gifts, financial support and friendship to those with the greatest need for the gift of human kindness during the holiday season and throughout the year.