Kiwanis fundraiser hits the mark
KIM DAMEThe Kiwanis Club of Spring Hill is known for its charitable giving throughout the community.
Published: December 7, 2012
Published: December 7, 2012
On Nov. 30, Kiwanis members and their supporters came together at R Beach Restaurant in support of a new Kiwanis endeavor called Project Pleasant Dreams.
Project Pleasant Dreams is focused on children with debilitating illnesses that require them to spend a lot of time in their bedrooms.
For their latest project, club members chose to help make a little Brooksville girl's dream of a new bedroom come true.
At 10, Autumn Brantley has lived with more obstacles than her sweet personality might reveal.
She has a rare disease, called sideroblastic anemia, which, in Autumn's case, requires a bone marrow transplant, her second since the first one failed. She will undergo the second surgery sometime after the first of the year.
Thanks to the Kiwanis Club of Spring Hill the time Autumn spends before and after her surgery will be in a beautiful new bedroom, designed with her input and made possible in large part by the donations made during the fundraiser.
"We want them to have a special place that is their own," said Kiwanis of Spring Hill past President Roseann Jones.
The project combined the generosity of Carpet World in Brooksville, which donated the flooring; Create More Space in Spring Hill, which will custom build the closet using a budget provided by the Kiwanis Club of Spring Hill; and money raised from the benefit at R Beach.
R Beach co-owners, Fred and Susan Javidi, jumped at the opportunity to help the cause because giving back is a big part of what they do.
The restaurant opened its banquet room on Friday and served a few of the popular signature dishes to more than 100 guests.
It was a better than expected turnout, said Jones, as the community came together to support little Autumn's dream bedroom.
"It was amazing," she added. "We more than doubled our goal of $1,000."
A disc jockey played and Autumn danced.
"She was a little shy at first," said Jones.
In no time, the little girl was melting hearts with her charm.
Autumn's family has been dealing with her sideroblastic anemia for years and it has taken its toll.
Experiencing the overwhelming generosity of the community has made their journey a little easier.
"I just want Autumn to have a normal life," Scott Brantley, Autumn's father, said.
"I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for all the support they have given for Autumn," he said "It brought me to tears."
Autumn does not define herself by her condition.
She loves bold colors and splashy designs. And when given the chance to design her own bedroom, she jumped at it.
Autumn was the project's first recipient, but the Kiwanis Club of Spring Hill hopes to do at least one room a year.
Jones said the Kiwanis of Spring Hill plans to hold future Pleasant Dreams events at R Beach.
"It was an unbelievable night," she said. "And Autumn had a blast."