Disabled Muny actress’s van stolen

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – Monday night on the lower parking lot at the Muny, Gracie Gibson was ready for her close-up.

The DeSoto girl plays one of the Munchkins in the Muny’s production of “The Wizard of Oz.”  In real life, and on stage, Gracie uses a wheelchair.  And right in the middle of the production last week, somebody stole her parents' specially-equipped van right out of their driveway.

Gracie’s mother, Kim Gibson, said, “I thought, ‘There's something missing.  It's our van!  Oh my gosh, that's our van driving up the driveway.  Gracie was terrified.  I ran back and woke my husband up and said, 'Ron, I think somebody just took our van.'"

So there’s good news and bad news.  Gracie’s parents got their van back.  But it had been wrecked.  And it is in no shape to transport a busy actress to her next audition.  When Kim and Gracie arrived at the Muny Monday night, Kim was test-driving another van.

“Looking today,” said Kim, “the prices I've been quoted are like $65,000 on these vans.”

A reporter clarified.

$65,000?

“Yes,” she said, “the conversion itself is $25,000.  To have the floor lowered.  You can either have a ramp that deploys from the floor or a ramp that folds out.”

A family friend set up a GoFundMe page for Gracie’s van.  Her parents reluctantly agreed to accept the gesture.