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Home tour helps make wishes come true

By Beverly Bryant Published: June 17, 2006
EDMOND - Eleven children who have had their wishes granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Oklahoma are working to raise funds so other seriously ill children can have their wishes come true.

The children helped designers and home builders in the Dream Home Tour at EdgeWater, near SE 15 and Air Depot Boulevard in Edmond.

The Dream Home Tour begins today and runs through July 2. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. Nine new homes are on the tour, each featuring at least one "Wish Room" inspired by the wish experiences of the 11 Make-A-Wish recipients.

Parking is at Henderson Hills Baptist Church at SE 15 and Interstate 35. Shuttles will run continuously to EdgeWater.

Tickets are $15 per person and are available only at the gate. A $30 super pass, which allows unlimited access, may be purchased. All proceeds benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Oklahoma.

The Dream Home Tour, sponsored by Audio Dimensions, offers visitors a chance to see nine homes in a single-site showcase, said Caleb McCaleb, tour chairman.

"The homes are fully furnished and merchandised," McCaleb said. "Previously I've done the Street of Dreams tour. These homes are quite a bit grander. The show homes are priced between $1.6 million and $2.5 million. Every house features outdoor living spaces and full swimming pools."

The homes are set on estate lots ranging in size from 2 to 3 acres, he said. Several of the homes feature giant waterfalls, preserve areas and manmade springs and creeks.

"We're surrounded on three sides by Arcadia Lake and are in a lake preservation district," McCaleb said. "We've worked on this project for two years."

He said he expects more than 20,000 people to tour the homes during this event.

Cherry Murray, director of special events for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Oklahoma, said the 11 children who participated worked with the home builders and designers to help create rooms representative of their wish experiences.

"We tried to find some representation of all of the wishes we grant," Murray said. "Our wishes fall into one of four categories: 'I wish to go (to a destination)'; 'I wish to meet (an athlete or star)'; 'I wish to have (an item like a computer or large- screen TV)' and 'I wish to be (a profession such as police officer, firefighter, ballerina).'

"In one home, there is a room remembering a trip to Disney World. In another, a Disney cruise. We have one child whose wish was to have his truck redone like on one of the cable TV shows. They really went all-out on his truck. He's won some awards at car shows."

The teenager's Wish Room is a "Monster Garage."

Among the other wishes granted were attendance at the prime-time Emmys and a trip to the NFL Pro Bowl in Hawaii. Another child wanted a backyard tree house and one wanted to meet Michael Jordan, Murray said. One young cowboy wanted a custom-made saddle to use when he participated in rodeos.

"The designers met the children and spent some time talking with them about their Wish experiences -- where they went, what they did. The builders took some of those ideas and incorporated those into the Wish Rooms," Murray said. "The builders are so excited to have the kids see their rooms."

Since the young consultants already have had their dream wishes granted, proceeds from the tour will go to grant future wishes.

"The average cost of a wish is $6,000," Murray said. "Last year we granted 128 wishes. We are looking to grant about that many this year."

Builder Tim Clayburn will have several "Wish Rooms" in the home he is building, called Bella Villa. He is working with Jan Green Designs to create a Hawaiian-theme girl's room.

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