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Sweet Dreams Foundation fundraiser

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Whole Foods Market in Folsom holds 5% Day for Sweet Dreams Foundation

Whole Foods Market in Folsom, in an effort to give back to the community, holds a 5% Community Giving Day. On Wednesday, Dec. 5 Sweet Dreams Foundation was the recipient of the event.

Sweet Dreams is a non-profit organization that seeks to, as their mission states, “improve the quality of life for children who have been diagnosed with a life threatening disease through the creation of their dream bedroom."

This year Sweet Dreams Foundation was able to raise money to create two rooms for two beautiful children.

Each room takes time to complete and it begins by selecting a child who would benefit from a Sweet Dreams room creation. There is an application process that helps in the selection.

This year the Sweet Dreams Foundation created a dream room for Virginia and Malena.

Virginia enjoying her room
Malena with Sweet Dreams’ Jennifer Richards, Amy Bagshaw and Daniel Donchenko

Virginia was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) a month after turning five years old. Chemotherapy and medication helped alleviate her illness by November of last year. Five months later Virginia relapsed needing an immediate blood transfusion and stronger chemotherapy.

Sweet Dreams president and interior decorator Jennifer Richards spent time with Virginia to find out what the little girl liked in order to incorporate those things in creating her room.

Virginia’s room
Virginia’s room
Virginia and her parents

A bedroom was conceived and a collection of volunteers proceeded to help create Virginia’s dream room.

A smile seems to always grace the little girl’s face and her personality radiates warmth to those around her.

Besides volunteers a series of fundraisers are created to help create these rooms. The Sweet Dreams Foundation relies on volunteers, sponsors and a team of board members to help raise funds.

One of the main, and fun, events held during the year to help with the fundraiser efforts is an annual luau where past Sweet Dreams Foundation recipients attend. A dinner, silent and live auctions, live music and entertainment await visitors at the event.

Past dream room recipients with Jennifer Richards

At these events children who have benefited from dream rooms enjoy the company of family and friends. The many people who volunteer, donate or sponsor the room creation enjoy a wonderful evening to celebrate the completion of dream rooms

This was the first time two rooms were created during a year.

The second room was created for Malena who was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2. She has never been able to walk and learned to drive her mechanical wheelchair at the age of two.

Malena wished for an under the sea bedroom with a clam shell bed. The Sweet Dreams team and volunteers helped create a wonderful room with walls painted by Emiliano Campobello a muralist friend of the family.

Malena’s room
Malena’s room
Malena’s room

Seeing the eyes of the little girls as they entered to see their new room for the first time is always such a delight to see. The awe inspiring rooms bring wonderful smiles to their face and the hard work created by a team of volunteers and sponsors lasts not only those first few seconds but it gives the girls a room where they can relax, enjoy and share with their loved ones.

Virginia seeing her dream room for the first time
Malena seeing her dream room for the first time

The Wholefoods 5% Day will help with the creation of other rooms for kids with similar ailments. Sweet Dreams Foundation had an information table near one of the entrances to Whole Foods and they were able to answer questions about the foundation and becoming involved.

Grant Peterson, Kathy Gay and Daniel Donchenko at Whole Foods Market in Folsom
Daniel Donchenko, Kathy Gay and Lisa Sidhu in front Cassidy (r) with friend Jenna in back at Whole Foods Market in Folsom

The 5% Day at Whole Foods Market in Folsom donated 5% of the day’s net sales to the Sweet Dreams Foundation.

Whole Foods monthly calendar is full of activities for the community they serve. Besides the 5% Day this month’s events include winter beer tasting, wine gifting event, a kid’s pizza and movie night, a toy drive with Santa and many other events.

Turnout during the 5% Day was not hampered by the rain and a check in the amount of $2165.45 will be given to Sweet Dreams Foundation.

Richards sent Ciara Glass, Whole Foods Marketing Team Leader in Folsom a thank you letter for their contribution.

Sweet Dreams is very thankful to Whole Foods and all the other businesses that sponsor and hold fundraisers.

The next fund raising event is a Fun Run that will benefit Sweet Dreams Foundation and the Folsom Athletic Association. The run will start at 1 p.m. at Folsom’s Lembi Park on Jan. 1, 2013.

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