dreams come true
County Dream Factory
celebrates one-year anniversary
Grange girl chooses
room design over Disney World
Helen E. McKinney
(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.
entire Beverley family enjoys
Kellie Beverlys newly made over
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 Im really at the beach, said Beverley,
daughter of Joe and Christy Beverley.
What the Dream Factory volunteers did was really amazing,
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 Louisvilles
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.
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 Childrens
Hospital in Louisville. The hospitals 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 years 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 chapters 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
Fuller had previously met Swope and thought the project for Beverley
would be the perfect opportunity to become involved and help someone
elses child. As a mother, you want to make things better,
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 youve
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
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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