By Sarah Peddar, Business Development Manager, Carter
ATLANTA (August 4, 2011) – Carter’s most recent Make-A-Wish child had very specific instructions for his dinosaur bedroom makeover. With dreams of becoming a paleontologist, this six-year-old’s requests included sleeping in the mouth of an Allosaurus (a smaller version of a T-rex) and a mural picturing a volcano and the skull of an Anklyosaurus floating in a tar pit. Most importantly, he wanted it to look realistic. I am proud to report that 25 Carter volunteers teamed together to make his very specific wish come true.
Our team was divided into design, construction, procurement and reveal party committees. We had two weekends to complete the project while the family was on vacation, and everyone involved did a phenomenal job. Charlie Smith deserves an honorable mention, as he volunteered all four days of the installation. In addition, Charlie spent several hours building a loft to span over the bed that included a bone ladder and rock climbing wall, as well as a toy chest for the foot of the bed, to which we attached teeth so it would look like the bottom of the dinosaur’s jaw. Combining these custom elements, along with the design team’s creative expertise, and the time, effort, and imagination of all the Carter volunteers, the room came together even more magnificently than we expected. The completed room delivered all of his requests and more, including: dinosaur footprints on the floor, a detailed wall mural, a vintage roll-top desk filled with books, fossils and other treasures, a tent suspended above the loft to resemble the head of the Allosaurus, and even a paleontologist costume. It is the perfect room for any aspiring paleontologist.
The reveal party on Tuesday morning extended the dinosaur theme. There were muffins shaped like dinosaurs, chocolate-dipped cake balls designed to look like dinosaur eggs and custom-wrapped Hershey bars (his favorite) with his name printed on them. When our make-a-wish child entered his new room he literally fell to the ground in awe. He pointed and screamed with glee every time he discovered something new, to the delight of all the volunteers who had the opportunity to witness his reaction.
Delivering this room was an incredible experience for me. Make-A-Wish has been one of Carter’s core philanthropies for years, but this was the first time I have had the opportunity to lead a project. I have a design background so it was inspiring to utilize my creativity to design something outside my previous realm of experience in office design. Knowing the effort involved would ultimately grant the wish of a child who has dealt with such difficult trials for his young age, made it all worth it.
A special thanks to everyone from Carter who helped to make this dinosaur bedroom makeover come true. Each and every one of you played an important role in bringing this room together, and it would not have been as successful without you!
Best wishes to our future paleontologist. We hope you love your new room!