by Amber Habron and Garland Noel
“I don’t know how they do that, but I love it!”
Career information teacher Dilbert Hillegas is a lot of things. He is Santa Claus, a magician, and a Riley’s kid.
Using the stage name “Delbert the Wizard,” Hillegas performed a 20-minute long magic show in the main gym benefitting Riley’s Children’s Hospital.
“I’ve been on stage, and I’ve done motion pictures, and I’ve done all those things, so it’s no big deal in that regard, but it was a little intimidating to me because of having you in class,” said Hillegas. “You want to do well for that. I hope I did a good job.”
Starting with card tricks, Hillegas progressed to balloon animals, magic hats, rope tricks, and the all-important rabbit trick. He even used a “nuclear-powered” coloring book, but he couldn’t do it alone.
“I was really glad he picked me,” said student volunteer junior Jordyn
While the duo began by making a hat out of paper, Hillegas became Boling’s assistant for the rope trick, which involved cutting an ever-growing rope and removing a knot without untying it. Hillegas even let her keep the hat.
“I’m so happy I’m just trying not to cry,” said Boling.
Not done yet, Hillegas took off the wizard’s robe to share his story as a Riley’s kid after the morale committee taught the third part of the morale dance.
“Had it not been for that [a doctor at Riley’s], I wouldn’t be standing here, to this day, singing the praises of Riley’s hospital who saved my life,” said Hillegas. “I thank them every day.”
Next year, Hillegas would like to see a corporation support the event so that all of the money goes to Riley’s.
“In the end, 100 percent of our money goes to the kids, and that’s what’s supposed to happen.”
For people who did not attend FCDM this year, Hillegas only had this advice.
“Look at what you missed. Take a look at that video, and look at what you missed.”