VIDEO: Palm Bay Boy Enjoys Pool Party With Vanilla Ice
By Yvonne Martinez, City of Palm Bay // April 11, 2015
pool brings many therapeutic benefits for child
ABOVE VIDEO: Owen Johnson will be 7-years-old this weekend, but Friday was an early birthday celebration when he was joined by family and friends for a pool party courtesy of Van Kirk and Sons Pools and the Vanilla Ice Project.
Owen Johnson Paralyzed From the Neck Down From Crash That Killed Her Sister Hanna
BREVARD COUNTY • PALM BAY, FLORIDA — Owen Johnson will be 7-years-old this weekend, but Friday was an early birthday celebration when he was joined by family and friends for a pool party courtesy of Van Kirk and Sons Pools and the Vanilla Ice Project.
The company donated the pool which will be featured in an upcoming episode on the DIY Network show “Vanilla Ice Project.”
“He is so excited,” said Suzanne Johnson, Owen’s mom.
“More than anything he was excited to see the building of it, what boy wouldn’t? There were so many trucks, tools and equipment.”
The Johnson family survived a deadly car crash while on vacation in Georgia in 2012.
The crash killed Owen’s 6-year-old sister Hanna, and left Owen paralyzed from the neck down.
The Van Kirk family heard about the Johnsons through the Darrell Gwynn Foundation which provides support for people with paralysis.
The Vanilla Ice Project then got involved and decided to feature the pool construction on its DIY network television series.
“I took this project on because it’s magical, it’s great and smiles are contagious,” said Robert Van Winkle, also known as “Vanilla Ice.”
“Life is all about family and friends. Nothing else has a meaning or purpose without family and friends. Owen is smiling and having a great time.”
Friday’s pool party was the culmination of filming for the upcoming episode of the Vanilla Ice Project.
During the video shoot Van Winkle pushed pool company owner Bobby Van Kirk into the pool. Van Winkle then jumped in, followed by the Chick-fil-A cow and Palm Bay Mayor William Capote.
“I can’t even tell you how blessed we are to have met the Van Kirk family,” said Suzanne Johnson.
“And not just the Van Kirk’s because once it went on the news before we had so much local outpouring, everyone wanted to help.”
Among the local donors was Payton Stone Company which built the patio and pool deck for the family at no cost.