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Riverlands Craft Show raises money to help 6-year-old learn to walk

LAPLACE —Like most little girls, 6-year-old Imani Soniat of LaPlace is full of energy and personality. However, her diagnoses of cerebral palsy, erbs palsy, spinal stenosis and developmental delay limit her mobility and prevent her from taking part in many of the childhood activities her classmates enjoy.

The community is rallying around Imani’s family to help her obtain medical equipment that could help her learn to walk.

Riverlands Golf and Country Club in LaPlace is hosting its Christmas Craft Show and Give Back Event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13. The fee to participate is $35 per vendor, and organizer Lindsey Vicknair said all proceeds will benefit Imani’s journey toward taking her first steps.

“She has already undergone several surgeries in her short little life and attends therapy weekly. Imani is full of personality, energy and faith, and all vendor fees are going towards her Trexo Robotic walker, which is not covered by insurance. We are trying to do our little bit to help Imani’s dream of walking on two feet come true,” Vicknair said.

The Riverlands Christmas Craft Show tradition turned into a way to give back following the success of recent events benefitting infant Anniston Cancienne’s medical expenses. Imani Soniat and her family appeared as vendors during the last Give Back event in November.

Imani’s mother, Angel Tutt-Soniat, has used YouTube to follow the progress of other children who are becoming mobile with help from the Trexo Robotic Walker. According to Trexo Robotics, the system is tablet operated and can be customized to support a child’s unique needs for weight bearing, gait pattern, speed and level of assist. Unfortunately, it comes with a price tag of $29,900.

“I just have to do it for my baby. It’s like me giving her another opportunity, another chance at walking,” Tutt-Soniat said. “The walker kind of moves your legs for you. It puts you in a position where you can get physical therapy throughout the day.”

Tutt-Soniat will be on-site again this weekend with her small business, Divine Crafts NOLA, which specializes in unique T-shirts and other wonderful gifts.

Other vendors include the following: Violet Crown Boutique, Mollie DuPont; Bre’s Custom Creations, Breanna Mixon; Roux Fabrications, Amanda & David Rooney; Pawtree, Beth Bowman; Sneaux De Lis; Just Once Boutique, Laurell Gonor; PBD Creations, Blaine Dauzat; T3 Treasures and Gifts, Tammy Waits; My 3 Hearts Custom Gifts, Ginger Villa; Fleurty Nails by Aren Color Street, Adrienne Monica; Glitter Over NOLA; Mystic Angel Vibes, Cherie Canon; My Ticklez, Alison Lee; Southern Made Woodworks, Marshall & Jessica Budd; Vier Designs, Brittany Olivier; Crescent City Chic, Amy Royer; The Cookie Barn, Brittany Walker-Strickland; BeautyCounter, Lindsey Vicknair; Divine Crafts NOLA, Angel Soniat; Tupperware, Tangela Daniels; Tre’Skin, Barbara Lessard; Thirty One, Claudia Landry; and Danny’s Salsa.

Vicknair said there will be a lot to experience, and she invites all to come out.

“Mrs. Audrey will be cooking something yummy to warm your belly, so come out for lunch and shop with these local small businesses!” she said.

For more information or vendor inquiries, please message Riverlands Golf and Country Club on Facebook.

Community members wishing to support Imani’s walking journey can donate to the GoFundMe page at gofundme.com/f/miss-piggy-walking-journey or contact Tutt-Soniat at 504-520-9443.