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Making dreams come true

Oldham County Dream Factory
celebrates one-year anniversary

La Grange girl chooses
room design over Disney World

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

(May 2005) – Fifteen-year-old Kellie Beverley of La Grange, Ky., suffers from dysautonomia, a malfunction of the autonomic nervous system. She spends a lot of her time lying down in her room.

Kellie Beverly and family

Photo provided

The entire Beverley family enjoys
Kellie Beverly’s newly “made over”
beach-themed bedroom.

So when she was granted a wish by the Dream Factory, she chose a room makeover. It was so important to her to see her room redecorated that she gave up a trip to Disney World to make it happen. A trip to see Mickey Mouse ranks as the top “dream” among other children.
The focal point of the beach-themed room is a large ocean mural scene painted on the wall by local artist Mary La Coco. The room is decorated with beach-type furniture, a large beach fan that spans the ceiling and a wooden floor. A beach chair sits by the window inscribed with “Dreams Really Do Come True,”and other encouraging sayings. “I feel like I’m really at the beach,” said Beverley, daughter of Joe and Christy Beverley.
What the Dream Factory volunteers did was “really amazing,” said Beverley.
The Dream Factory is an all-volunteer organization whose goal is that every child between the ages of 3-18 whose life is threatened by a critical or chronic illness should have his or her dream come true.
Leslie Swope founded the Oldham County satellite chapter of the Louisville organization in May 2004. While operating her own cleaning service, she overheard clients discussing the Louisville Dream Factory. Curiosity piqued, Swope looked into the program and became a board member of the Louisville chapter. “It captured my heart,” she said of the nationally recognized program.
The national office is headquartered on Third Street in downtown Louisville, and Swope learned through the organization that she had to become a board member to operate a satellite chapter. The Dream Factory of Louisville’s service area includes the Metro Louisville area and the surrounding counties of Trimble, Carroll, Gallatin, Owen, Shelby, Spencer, Oldham and southern Indiana. There are 32 chapters in the United States.
The Dream Factory was founded nationally in 1980 by Charles Henault of Hopkinsville, Ky., after he and several friends provided a trip to Disney World for a young girl dying of leukemia.

Kellie Beverley

Photo provided

Kellie Beverley chose a “dream room
makeover” in place of a trip to Disneyland.

This was the first of more than 20,000 dreams to come true for chronically and severely ill children in the United States.
Swope is entering her fourth year of volunteering with the Louisville Dream Factory and is the area coordinator. In an effort to spread the word about the organization, she often visits Norton-Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville. The hospital’s chaplain accompanies her for one-hour visits to inform the children about the Dream Factory.
The organization also holds fund raisers. One is planned for July 30 at the Seelback Hotel in Louisville. The hotel will celebrate its 100th birthday, while the Dream Factory will celebrate 25 years in existence. The Seelback Hotel chose the Dream Factory to be the recipient of its attentions at this black-tie event.
Last year’s event was a raffle for a new home in the Lake Forest subdivision in Middletown, Ky. Monsour Builders constructed a $260,000 home that the Louisville chapter decorated. The chapter’s net profit was $80,000, a sum greatly needed to grant future dreams.
Since it founding, the Oldham County chapter has won the hearts of other volunteers. Freelance artist and Campbellsburg resident Jeri Fuller became involved because her son was born with a rare bone-marrow disease. Having no immunity system of his own, he is often at high risk to develop leukemia.
Fuller had previously met Swope and thought the project for Beverley would be the perfect opportunity to become involved and help someone else’s child. “As a mother, you want to make things better,” said Fuller.
By brainstorming with other volunteers, Fuller came up with the idea to paint an underwater scene on her designated area of the room, the closet. The minute one steps into the closet, “You feel as if you’ve walked into the ocean,” said Fuller.
She gave the lifeless area the vivid concept of ocean life: coral, rock ledges, sea animals such as dolphins and octopuses, and even Nemo make an appearance on the wall. The higher up the wall the eye travels, the lighter the scene gets, giving the impression that one is near the surface of the water where it is not so dark.
Fuller used phosphorescent paints and a glow-in-the-dark glaze to complete the imagery. A black light was hung inside the closet, completing the effect.
The closet was painted to complement the beach scene mural by La Coco. Fuller said the room would give Beverley a place to retreat to and capture some peace of mind, after spending an excessive amount of time in hospitals.
It will provide Beverley with “a fresh start,” said Fuller. “She can be in her own little world.”

• For more information on the Louisville Dream Factory or its Oldham County satellite chapter, contact Leslie Swope at (502) 222-2218 or (502) 817-3081 or visit www.dreamfactorylouisville.com.

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