Boys' Shelter Receives Room Makeover

Designing Dreams, an interior design nonprofit, dedicated a $20,000 room makeover to the Bald Ridge Lodge, a center for high-risk teenage boys located in Forsyth County, at a fundraiser held at Milton’s Cuisine and Cocktails on Aug. 18.

Allison Havill Todd got inspiration for this nonprofit overnight and brought this idea to life in 2009. “Interior space has an overall affect on a person or family’s well-being,” said Havill Todd, an interior designer and owner of Allison Havill Todd Interiors based in Cumming. “In a time when families were going through a difficult time, it became an opportunity to do something positive.”

This year, Designing Dreams chose the Bald Ridge Lodge as the recipient of a room makeover that will rejuvenate the recreation room for boys ages 8-17. The lodge houses a of 12 boys at a time and not only provides room and board, food, psychological assessments, but also tutoring, mentoring and basic life skills for each to be a success.

“A home is supposed to provide security, safety and we aim to provide that for our boys," said Bald Ridge Lodge Executive Director John Haigler. "With this room makeover, it will give the boys a place where they feel at home and are comfortable in their living space which will in turn help with their self-esteem and much more."

In the past years, Designing Dreams renovated rooms for sister-nonprofit and girls' shelter, Jesse's House, and  The Wampler-Patrick Family. Once nominations are submitted, the winners are picked by an independent panel of judges that review all applications and ultimately decide on the recipient.

Through donations, fundraising and volunteers, the makeover is scheduled to be done by Thanksgiving. “We cannot do Extreme Makeover, but this is a way we can make a positive difference in someone’s life,” said Havill Todd.

For more information on Designing Dreams, visit www.ahtinteriors.com

In Other News: The 2nd Annual Free to Breathe 5K Run and Walk was held on Aug. 20 at John Howell Park in Atlanta to benefit the National Lung Cancer Partnership. The race saw 438 runners who helped raise over $33,000 for research, education and awareness programs. The race was started by Decatur resident, Amy Waggoner, in honor of her friend who passed away from the disease.