Autumn loves bold colors and splashy designs. And if given the chance, the 10-year-old Brooksville girl has a solid idea how she would design her dream bedroom.
Thanks to the Kiwanis Club of Spring Hill, Carpet World in Brooksville, Create More Space, and RBeach Restaurant, Autumn's dream is on its way to becoming a reality.
The Kiwanis Club of Spring Hill is launching a new effort to help children with debilitating diseases find a little joy while their bodies heal. Through Project Pleasant Dreams, a child's bedroom is completely remodeled, based on ideas they create, into a dream bedroom.
Through fundraising efforts and support from the community, Kiwanis Club of Spring Hill hopes to complete Autumn's bedroom prior to Christmas.
Roseann Jones, the Kiwanis Club of Spring Hill's past president, said the idea came from a television program she had seen a few years ago that renovated children's bedrooms.
The Kiwanis Club is always looking for ways to support the community with funding and events, especially those that help children in need. With a budget from the organization and money raised in fundraising efforts, the Kiwanis is able to provide the dream bedroom for local children who fit the criteria.
"We want to do at least one room a year," she said. "It is especially for kids that will be spending a large amount of time in their bedrooms."
Like Autumn, whose immune system has been compromised by a rare disease, called sideroblastic anemia. Sideroblastic anemia is described in medical journals as a group of rare blood disorders characterized by the bone marrow's inability to manufacture normal red blood cells.
Autumn's sideroblastic anemia required a bone marrow transplant, which she received two years ago. It failed, said Jones. Autumn is scheduled for a second transplant from All Children's Hospital after the first of the year.
Autumn will be spending a lot of time at home before and after the surgery, Jones said.
"We want to make it a better place to be," he said.
Roseann Jones and her Kiwanis Club of Spring Hill colleagues, Adam, Jennifer and Ann, met Autumn and her family when the child was chosen as the first recipient of Project Pleasant Dreams.
"They are a great family," Jones said. "She touched my heart. She is an amazing little girl."
Autumn's parents, Scott and Jaime, were moved by the support of the Kiwanis Club of Spring Hill and the generosity of the community.
"I just think it's a wonderful thing what they are doing," said Jaime. The family has been struggling with Autumn's illness for eight years. And it has taken its toll.
"We just want her to have a normal life," Scott said.
Carpet World, Jones said, is donating the wood flooring and Create More Space is building the custom closet. But more funding is needed to complete the project.
Fred and Sue Javidi, co-owners of RBeach Restaurant in Hernando Beach, were inspired by the efforts of the Kiwanis after hearing about Autumn's plight. So they collaborated with the Kiwanis Club of Spring Hill to host a benefit in her honor.
On Friday, the restaurant will open its banquet room from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. and provide a buffet-style spread of several signature dishes including sausage and peppers, chicken marsala, baked ziti, green bean almadine, dinner salad and rolls. A DJ is scheduled, and a raffle and door prizes will be available.
Tickets are $20 per person, with all proceeds donated to Autumn's Project Pleasant Dreams.
"Anything left over will go to the family," Jones said.
RBeach is known for its charitable heart, supporting many fundraising efforts that give back to a community they've called home for 10 years.
This one is particularly touching.
"It's tough to deal with that even if you're rich," Fred Javidi said. "Anything that will make your kid happy will make you happy."
Friday is also a "tribute to Frank Sinatra and Ladies of Songs." RBeach also will have their jazz band performing for a special night out on the main deck. Attendees for the benefit are welcome to stay after the benefit and enjoy the classic jazzy tunes with the sounds of Frank Sinatra, Whitney Houston and Donna Summer.
For more information about Project Pleasant Dreams and Autumn's benefit, contact Roseann Jones at (352) 684-5788 or RBeach at (352) 592-5556.
"Anything that can help will be a blessing," Fred said.