Magic Kid

Zane Ellingwood shows off a magic trick by pulling a rabbit out of a box at his Cumberland home recently. The 8-year-old performs magic shows at birthday parties of children whose parents are deployed in the military.

John A. Bone
Cumberland Times-News

CUMBERLAND - With a little magic and much thoughtfulness, Zane Ellingwood brightens the lives of military children throughout the region.

The 8-year-old Cumberland resident founded his own nonprofit organization, America's Littlest Heroes Inc., to provide free entertainment at the birthday parties of children whose parents are deployed in the military.

"I like to make them happy," he said.

Zane came up with the idea after he heard his parents talk about a father who was being deployed to Iraq. Although none of his friends have parents in the military, he wanted to do something nice for children who miss their moms and dads.

"He told us about the idea, and it sounded like a good thing to do, so I got into it," said his father Scott Ellingwood. "It's a lot of fun."

So far, Zane has given performances at two birthday parties in the Fort Meade area.

"I think it's great that he's helping people and making them happy," said his mother Christy Ellingwood.

Using his magic wand, Zane can perform a variety of tricks that he learned from his dad. Party guests enjoy a 20-minute magic show featuring Cookies and Cream the rabbit and Snow Cone the dove.

Zane dresses as a clown and passes out balloon animals and goody bags.

"The goody bags have Legos, army men and Hot Wheels cars," said Zane.

"They really liked the bunny rabbit, they liked the magic show and they liked the balloons, too," said Scott.

To further enhance the birthday experience, Zane plans to bake cakes to take to the parties.

In his spare time, Zane enjoys playing his Game Boy and spending time with his four cats, three hamsters, rabbit, dove and new turtle.

Scott hopes Zane's services will be requested at more military children's birthday parties this summer.

"We'll drive about three hours in any direction," said Scott.

To request birthday entertainment, log onto alheroes.com.

Jennifer Raley can be reached at jraley@times-news.com.

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