Military dad returning from deployment surprises wife, daughter on Tuacahn stage

IVINS – Two audience members attending Tuacahn’s “When You Wish” in Ivins Thursday night had an unexpected wish of their own fulfilled when an announcer onstage declared the box office had randomly drawn their seat numbers for a prize giveaway.

Brandi Drake and her daughter Skyler Drake were seated in the audience waiting for “Disney’s When You Wish” to begin when the announcer read their seat numbers and called the two up onto the famed amphitheater stage to receive prizes.

As mother and daughter stood onstage with the announcer, he discovered the next day was young Skyler’s 10th birthday.

A returned Air Force officer emerges from a trapdoor to surprise his family at Tuacahn, Ivins, Utah, Oct. 8, 2016 | Screenshot image taken from video, courtesy of Tuacahn, St. George News
A returned Air Force officer emerges from a trapdoor to surprise his family at Tuacahn, Ivins, Utah, Oct. 8, 2016 | Screenshot image taken from video, courtesy of Tuacahn, St. George News

After presenting the two with their Tuacahn prizes, the announcer told the Drakes Tuacahn had “one more gift” for them.

Through a trapdoor leading from beneath the stage, a figure clad in military fatigues rose up behind a large bed that is part of the “When You Wish” set. Carrying bouquets, one each for his wife and his daughter, U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Dennis Drake came toward the front of the stage much to the shock of his wife and daughter, who ran to embrace him.

Dennis Drake has been on military deployment in Africa for a year, according to information from Tuacahn.

The audience applauded as Dennis Drake hugged his wife and daughter. Continuing to applaud and cheer, many audience members stood as, carrying young Skyler, Dennis Drake made his way from the stage with his wife.

When he found out he may be returning home from Africa earlier than expected, Dennis Drake contacted Tuacahn to see if he could get a ticket to one of the performances his wife and daughter would be attending and surprise them, Tuacahn Public Relations Director Joseph Smith told KSL. But Tuacahn employees decided they could do better than just get him a ticket, and the surprise was arranged, making Thursday night one “When You Wish” experience the Drake family will never forget.

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1 Comment

  • Brian October 14, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    Awesome! A friend was there and told me about it, and I hoped there would be video. Thanks Drake family for your service and sacrifice! Nicely done, Tuacahn.

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