I wish for an art and music studio

Lauryn , Georgia

Unique Wish Brings the “Sound of Music” to Georgia

12-year-old Lauryn from Dacula, Georgia, had a very unique wish request that had the Georgia Chapter Board Members scratching their heads.  What was Lauryn’s wish – to have a home recording studio and art center placed in the family playroom.  Georgia Chapter President Phil Lyons knew this wish was going to take a team effort.

Phil assigned part of the wish to coordinator Cylinda Price.  Cylinda was going to handle the art portion of the wish.  Phil, along with the Foundations Program Coordinator Krystal DeWitt, would work on the studio portion of the Lauryn’s wish.  With a plan in motion, Phil and two junior board members traveled to Dacula to meet Lauryn and her family.

After meeting with Lauryn and her parents, Phil learned of Lauryn’s love of music and talent for art.  While she was hospitalized for her illness, Lauryn passed the time by creating some amazing pieces of art.   Lauryn’s mom told Phil that Lauryn had an excellent singing voice.  With this information in hand, it was time for the Georgia Chapter to make this wish become a reality.

Phil, Cylinda, and Krystal didn’t know exactly where to start, so they each decided to bring in the experts. Each of them consulted with various musicians, technicians or anyone with knowledge of putting a music studio together.  After months of seeking advice, Phil spoke with a local Brunswick musician who directed him to a man named Levi, who works in the music field.  After explaining what Lauryn’s wish was, Levi said he knew exactly what was needed.

Levi and Phil worked on what equipment Lauryn would need to make and record her music.  From the microphone, to the headphones, to the electronic keyboard and speakers, Levi meticulously selected the right equipment for Lauryn’s studio. 

Although Cylinda was originally responsible for the art aspect of the wish, she also played an intricate part on the music side.  Cylinda contacted Michaels and explained to the manager about Lauryn’s wish.  Not only did Michaels have all the necessary art supplies, but by the time Cylinda arrived at the store, the manager and staff had already picked out a shopping basket full of supplies.  Further, store employees began to purchase items for Lauryn on their own.  Cylinda was amazed by the generosity of everyone at Michaels in Brunswick.  After the art supplies and extras were collected, the manager told Cylinda that she could pick up all the stuff in a week as the store employees were going to create an art basket for Lauryn.  A week later Cylinda picked up the basket, which weighed in excess of 50 pounds.  It was wrapped in plastic wrap and had a big bow on the front.

Phil, Cylinda, and two Junior Board members loaded up the equipment and art supplies, and headed off to Dacula.  The Foundation’s group arrived at Lauryn’s house and was greeted by her mother.  Lauryn’s Mom did not tell Lauryn that her studio would be arriving that day.  When Phil called out to Lauryn to come down because her music studio had arrived, with a smile that could light Atlanta, Lauryn came down the stairs to greet the Foundation family.

After unloading all the equipment, Cylinda and Junior Board members Austin and Dustin began the task of running wires and connecting all of the equipment.  Once the studio was set up, Lauryn was ready to make use of it, but had to wait until after her basketball game.

Pictures were taken, hugs were exchanged.  Phil wished Lauryn well for her basketball game and invited Lauryn and her family to the Georgia Chapter’s “High Tide Classic” on October 3, 2015.  He told Lauryn that she could make her singing debut at the event.  A nervous Lauryn agreed and Lauryn’s mom said the family would be there.

It was back to Brunswick for the Foundation’s team.  Each member a little tired but all had the biggest smiles on their faces.  It wasn’t because the wish was completed, or that Lauryn and her family were so appreciative of the Foundation’s efforts, it was more than that.  Marty speaks often of how the volunteers get more out of the wishes than the wish children…He is so right.  Invigorated and filled with a new hope, the Foundation members vowed to do more in the upcoming months for our wish children.

Special thanks to the manager and staff of Michaels, Levi and Portman’s Music (both in Brunswick, Georgia) and all the volunteers who helped make Lauryn’s wish become a reality.  It was a great job with great team effort.

P.S.  I spoke to Lauryn’s mom on Sunday. Lauryn played great but her team loss a heartbreaker by one point.  Although her team lost, Lauryn kept a smile on her face because she knew that she is a winner in a much bigger game, “Life.”

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