NORTH CAROLINA (WTVD) --Lily Chapman just turned 11-years-old. She loves watching the news and she wants to be a news anchor "just like Barbara Gibbs," when she grows up.
Lily, an ABC11 super fan, asked her parents to throw her an ABC11 themed party for her 11th birthday, so when her mom reached out to us on Facebook for help celebrating, we were happy to take part with a big surprise.
"I contacted you guys because I was trying to think of other things, other activities, we could do related to ABC11, or reporting," Becky Chapman, Lily's mom, said. "Unfortunately, Pinterest does not have a lot of ideas about this theme so I was kind of lost."
Becky baked a cake shaped like a mic and made a weather board for her daughter who planned to have a mock-newscast with her friends using scripts Lily wrote herself - but Becky was still hoping to add an extra special something.
WHY SHE'S A FAN
Becky said her daughter watches the news on ABC every morning before school.
"She likes watching Barbara Gibbs and the others on ABC11 Eyewitness News and she's talked about that's maybe something she wants to do when she gets older," Becky said. "And if she possibly wants to stay with local news or even go to Good Morning America - that's one of her goals," she laughed. "I like that at this age she's already thinking ahead in what she wants to do later in life."
Chapman said ABC11 Meteorologist Don "Big Weather" Schwenneker left a big impression on Lily when he visited her school at Lynn Road Elementary and that she watches him to prepare whenever she does the weather for her school's morning announcements.
To give you some perspective on how much of a fan Lily is - last year for her birthday, her parents took her on a cross-country road trip and Lily reported on the trip everywhere they went for "Lily's Eyewitness News," including "live shots" at the Grand Canyon and the St. Louis Arch, "Joke Alerts" in lieu of Push Alerts, and her own mock Breaking News One reporting.
Watch her report here:
So to show Lily some love, we decided to crash her party, bring her and her friends some goody bags, make a special video just for her from the morning team, and let her and friends take pictures in Breaking News One.
Watch the morning team's message to Lily here:
"She obviously was very excited," Becky said of her daughter's reaction while watching the video. "She was kind of speechless about it, very excited that Barbara Gibbs knows her name, and excited for Amber and Don to also be on there, so that was very cool. Thank you for putting that together."
Lily also received a tour of the station Monday morning.
Check more pictures from the party below: