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Donnelly was granted the request of performing with the Muppets by the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Toward the end of filming, production was paused so that Steve Whitmire and Dave Goelz could call her up on the set of the boarding house dining room in front of the cast and crew. They gave her a special edition of the Hensonville News Observer, Baab the Sheep (the puppet she performed), and a bag full of dolls and character straws and other assorted items.
Her original request to Make-A-Wish was to be an actress in a Muppet movie, but when Whitmire and Goelz gave her a choice to either act or puppeteer, she chose to puppeteer. During her time on set, she became closest with Whitmire and Goelz, and named Rizzo the Rat as her favorite Muppet.
Donnelly passed away from Ewing's Sarcoma shortly after the movie was released.
- Muppet Central Tribute, November 8, 1999.