It didn’t take long for the big eyes, the big smiles and a little dose of shyness to kick in. As soon as Elspeth “Beanie” Mar, Aniyah Rigmaiden and Anthony Roy Jr. stepped out of their chauffeured, black SUV on Friday to cheers from the cast of “A.N.T. Farm” and a slew of onlookers, the three youngsters from Sacramento’s Caroline Wenzel Elementary School knew they were special.
And special they are. Almost four weeks ago, the three friends were eating at school when Anthony, 7, noticed that Aniyah, 6, seemed to be choking. Beanie, 6, saw it too and immediately knew what to do.
She had recently watched an episode of the Disney Channel’s “A.N.T. Farm” featuring a scene about the Heimlich maneuver, and she quickly got behind Aniyah, wrapped her arms around her friend’s waist, made a fist and gave a quick upward thrust. Out popped a piece of apple, very possibly saving Aniyah’s life.
The three humbly returned to class, but Beanie’s teacher heard about the incident and notified the principal, who called the kids’ parents – and soon the story about their good deed went national.
So on Friday, the trio was lauded outside Stage 10 of the Hollywood Center Studios, where “A.N.T. Farm” is taped. On a red carpeted platform in front of a gaggle of photographers, they each hugged members of the show’s cast, accepted hero medals and were feted with Mickey Mouse caps and ears and stuffed Mickeys. Then the master of ceremonies, Radio Disney personality Ernie D, said the words that every child yearns to hear: You’re going to Disneyland.