Earlier this summer, the Make-A-Wish Foundation was working on a plan to grant a wish for Isabell Vigneau of Charlestown, who is battling leukemia. Izzy wished for a playhouse, a place of her own in her backyard. Jane Williamson and Tina Downing, her volunteer “Wish Makers,” reached out to area businesses to bring the project to life. They started by contacting Walpole-based Bensonwood, a local homebuilding company, to build Izzy a new backyard playhouse.
On behalf of the company, Tedd Benson accepted the challenge. Months of planning and preparation involved more than 60 Bensonwood volunteers, who donated their time and expertise to building the 122 square foot, durable, fully insulated playhouse. The team designed a miniature house with a shiplap interior, vinyl siding, and a shingled roof. There is also a front deck, where Izzy can relax and enjoy time with family and friends.
Area businesses, listed below, generously donated the materials including lumber, flooring, paint, electrical services, trucking, and the site work needed to complete the playhouse project.
The day when the playhouse was delivered to Izzy’s home, the front deck was attached first, followed by an additional group of Make-A-Wish volunteers, who had planned how to decorate the interior with items that Izzy had selected.
When finished, a beaded chandelier was hung from the classic timber beam that runs down the center of the ceiling. A new daybed with fuzzy blue pillows welcomed Izzy for the big reveal. Izzy expressed her joy and thanks for the gift of her new backyard “home!”
“It takes a village, “said Downing, during a volunteer gathering in August. “Look at all of you who helped with this project and made it amazing for Izzy.”
“She’s got her own little space,” said Tiffany Vigneau, Izzy’s mother. “Hopefully when she gets a little bit older, and things get a little bit smoother, she’ll have lots of sleepovers and all kinds of things in this space. We can’t thank you enough for doing this.” “Izzy’s Place” is officially ready for Izzy to enjoy!
Benson also imagined a beautiful future for Izzy and the playhouse, wishing for it to be a healing, fun place that makes a big difference in her life. He said, “A little dream I have is the tenth anniversary of Izzy’s high school graduation, and the first thing she thinks of is all the joy and happiness that she had in Izzy’s place!”
The Make-A-Wish foundation believes that children experience the power of imagination and the strength the comes from it—wishes that can improve a child’s quality of life. Bensonwood appreciates the opportunity to participate with others in our community to fulfill Izzy’s playhouse wish.
Area businesses contributing time and materials:
Hamshaw Lumber – Keene
Perkins Home Center – Keene
Sherwin-Williams – Keene
Green Mountain Electric Supply – Keene
Tim Latham Electric – Walpole
Carlisle Flooring LLC – Stoddard
First Green Sitework – Charlestown
Blanc & Bailey Construction – Charlestown
SM Putnam Trucking – Charlestown
Nickerson Electric – Charlestown
Boise Cascade – Greenland
Marvin Windows – Williston, VT
Sign Design, Inc. Whitney and Ron Ferrigno – Brockton MA
NH State Police for transporting
St Pierre Sand and Gravel – Charlestown
Arthur Whitcomb – Keene or Swanzey
Madison Vigneau – best helper Charlestown
Homestead 48 – Marlborough
The Simple Nest – Keene
3 Generations craft shop – West Swanzey
Hidden Treasures – West Swanzey