After we left Tri-C, we drove to the Spitzer Conference Center at Lorain Community College where we attended a fundraiser on behalf of behalf of another worthy non-profit: Special Spaces Cleveland, whose motto is “Changing Children’s Lives, One Bedroom at Time.”
To be more specific, Special Spaces’ mission involves the creation of “dream bedrooms for children with life-threatening illnesses of cancer, heart conditions, brain tumors, and organ transplants. We believe that children facing this difficult journey need a special space for them to heal, recover, and find peace. A place of hope and inspiration!”
In the process of a continuing slide show, we learned that the designs of these bedrooms (for young people ages 2 to 19 years) were indeed imaginative, taking in such themes as petland; dinosaurs, pretty ponies, trucks; libraries; butterflies; wolves; mermaids; videogames; a spa; and the movie Frozen.
Ms. Jean Sexton told us that her organization, the Avonberry Tea Ladies, put together this event to raise funds to assist Special Spaces Cleveland in its work. Accordingly, there were quite a few business sponsors, including Margaret W. Wong and Associates, LLC. Ms. Sexton told us that support for Special Spaces greatly exceeded expectations; initially, only 100 tickets were printed, but that number kept increasing until it reached well over 160 people eager to take part.
We sat at a table with several other conscientious individuals and shared all kinds of tea, scones and toppings, pastries, and various sandwiches composed of such delectable ingredients as curry chicken, mozzarella and tomato, egg salad, ham and apples.
Later, we were addressed by Ms. Shari Caruso, the Director of the Cleveland chapter of Special Spaces, who testified as to how important the work of the organization was to the young people it served and how much it meant to her personally.
Along these lines, we learned that Special Spaces had been founded in Knoxville, TN in 2004 and that over the years 1,000 bedrooms had been created. In Ohio, alone, there are three chapters.
Ms. Caruso spoke how sad it is when one of the children she has worked with ultimately passes; but, along the way, the joys that the program had brought to them cannot be denied. She shared with us how much she enjoyed interviewing the children regarding what type of environment they would like to experience and recalled that one child told her he wanted it to be “tranquil” and also wanted it to “smell like Hawaii.” Hmm
We were very glad when, towards the end of the program, it was announced that the funds raised on this occasion were enough to provide no less than two of these special bedrooms for those who will highly appreciate them.