Skyler dreams of becoming a pastry chef.
Watch the 16-year-old for a few minutes deftly craft flawless designs atop freshly baked cupcakes, though, and it's clear we need to drop the word "dreams."
Skyler is a pastry chef.
"I'd hire her," said Carol Henry, a pastry chef at Holbrook's 's, of Sklyer, who spent some time last week whipping up and decorating treats with Henry at the catering hall.
Skyler, who has an undisclosed life-threatening medical condition, has seen her wish come true and more thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Suffolk County. The Ridge teenager was granted her official wish of becoming the sous chef to the bakers of the famous gingerbread houses at Disney World in December.
But why stop there?
"A wish doesn't only touch the child whose wish is granted," said Karine Hollander, president and CEO of Suffolk's Make-A-Wish chapter. "It has an impact on the entire family. It sometimes impacts entire communities that hear about it and want to rally around a child."
The visit to Lombardi's came about while planning for the foundation's 18th annual "Bouquet of Wishes" Spring Dinner Fundraiser, which has been held at Lombardi's for more than a decade.
"We've been dealing with Make a Wish for years now...we love to partner up with Make-A-Wish and be able to grant wishes for people," said Kevin Stollow, the operations manager at Lombardi's. "Lombardi's loves dealing with children and it would be our pleasure to be able to do this more often."
Hollander said of the partnership with Lombardi's: "This was an easy fit. It was a perfect connection for the type of wish that she made."
For Skyler's parents, Patrick and Laura Dipalma, the experience with Make-A-Wish has been a huge success for a simple reason: it has put a smile on their daughter's face.
"It's overwhelming, the kindness of people," Laura Dipalma said. "It's made my daughter happy so it's an amazing organization. It really is."
Skyler will be one of the three speakers at Thursday night's "Bouquet of Wishes."
"She wants to help out whenever she can," Patrick Dipalma said.
Credit Laura Dipalma with passing on the baking gene to her daughter.
"I was always like 'Let's make cookies girls, let's make brownies' and she just really got into it," Dipalma said of Skyler.
These days, Skyler watches several baking shows, including Cupcake Wars (cupcakes are her favorite), Patrick Dipalma said.
"She's very conscientious," he said as his daughter was giving decorating lessons herself to a reporter. "Pretty much whatever she does, she puts her heart into it...she won't give up."