LINCOLN PARK — LaCroix that tastes like cotton candy? It was one Chicago area second-grader's dream, and this week it became a reality with a little help from her teacher and the Wisconsin-based sparkling water company.
When asked to write an introduction letter about herself at the start of the school year, 7-year-old Charley Ballard, a student at Mark DeLay School in west suburban Darien, focused her "about me" on her passion for LaCroix.
She also shared her dream flavors: cotton candy and bacon.
With some help from her teacher, Lincoln Park resident Kimberly McShea, Charley sent a message to LaCroix a few weeks ago with her flavor suggestions and her vision for what the cans containing them should look like.
The note Charley Ballard sent to LaCroix suggesting a seltzer flavored like cotton candy. [Provided to DNAinfo]
Charley's mother, Stephanie Ballard, says her daughter has always been the type of kid who thinks big.
"She's always like, 'How come they don't make this or that?'" Ballard told DNAinfo Friday.
So when she dreamed up her LaCroix pitch, "I said, 'That's a great idea. You and Ms. McShea can work on that during indoor recess.'"
About a month ago, they did, and McShea tweeted the proposal to LaCroix.
According to Ballard, they got a response tweet saying, "Oh, Charley, thanks for your great idea. We'll think about this in the future, and you're a cute little girl."
After the company expressed initial intrigue about the concept, a mystery package arrived at the school Thursday.
Watch what happened when Charley looked inside:
So far, cotton candy LaCroix only exists in a very limited run of four pink cans, packaged with Charley's suggested design. But who knows where it might go once the world hears about it?
"We are all very excited," said McShea, who said she "really can't believe this company would go to this extreme to fulfill a little girl's wish for this new flavor!"
"It's unbelievable that a little second-grader of her own volition wrote a letter to LaCroix," said DeLay Principal Lisa Kompare. "It's the power of the pen and what kids can do. They can make things happen."
Calling McShea an "absolutely fabulous teacher," Kompare said, "She likes to get everything that's going on in the classroom out to the community and her parents. So she uses Twitter a lot."
The Ballards gave one can to McShea, but they haven't yet sampled the product themselves.
"We have not tasted it yet," Ballard said. "We wanted to wait for a special moment, like on Christmas Day.
"It was just the most thoughtful thing ever that they reached out to her and made that special effort for her," Ballard said.
Even without a sample, Charley's already pleased with the result, her mom said.
"She can't stop smiling," said Ballard.
"She's just an amazing little girl who has a very creative mind," she added. "I'm unbelievably proud. Most girls play with Barbie dolls or puzzles. Not Charley."