Student with Down syndrome selected as queen of St. Patrick's Day Parade

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

COUNTRYSIDE, Ill. (WLS) -- Victoria Reyes, a junior at Lyons Township High School who has Down syndrome, has been selected to be parade queen for the Countryside St. Patrick's Day Parade.

Reyes is deeply involved in the LTHS community, her mother says, including cheerleading and the Best Buddies program.

Victoria's mother says Countryside reached out to the parade chairman for the high school's Best Buddies program to help select a queen for the parade. Her Buddy, Kate Dillon, wrote a heartfelt letter that led to her selection as queen.

Victoria Reyes and Kate Dillon

A crowning ceremony will take place on Feb. 24 at Countryside City Hall, where Victoria will be recognized by the mayor and presented with her crown and sash.

The parade will be held on March 5, at 1 p.m. This will be the first year for the parade, says Chairman Tim Ryan, and the proceeds will go to the Kelli Joy O'Laughlin Memorial Foundation. In addition, Kelli's parents will be grand marshals for the parade, Ryan said. O'Laughlin, 14, was murdered in 2011 when she walked in on a burglary at her Indian Head Park home.