ELDORADO — Leading Edge Restoration, in West Frankfort, collaborated with local businesses to give Ally and Peyton Winters the bedroom of their dreams.
The idea came from three men who formed Leading Edge, a restoration company, and they wanted to make a child’s day by giving them a room they could call their own.
“We always had the ability to do the work, but there wasn’t any financial backing to make it happen,” said Leading Edge co-owner Eric Speakman.
He said Leading Edge partnered with Black Diamond and River Radio as part of their "Shop with a Jock" contest. Ally, 10, and Peyton, 7, were chosen as the winners of the program.
Ally and Peyton’s mother, Theresa, said she couldn’t be happier about the room makeover.
Winters said she bought the house in Eldorado a couple months ago with her husband, Michael Tison, who is the sisters' stepfather. She is in the process of remodeling the entire house, including the girl’s bedroom before winning the contest.
“It is a blessing and the kids love it,” Winters said. “The kids stay in their room all the time.”
Johnnie McKinnies of Leading Edge said the selection process wasn’t easy, but Ally and Peyton’s application painted a vivid picture.
“I am not sure why, but there was something about their story that stood out from the beginning,” he said. The girls' mom works 84 hours a week to support the family, while her husband looks for work. He was laid off from his job in the coal mines.
Once the Eldorado sisters were selected, Speakman said Black Diamond and River Radio began asking local businesses for help.
Rent One gave some furniture and Wright Do-it Center gave Leading Edge a $1,000 budget for materials, he said.
Jamilee Wright of Wright Do-it Center said it was a no-brainer to help with this project.
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“We are always looking for creative ways to partner with local organizations and give back to the community,” she said. “It was a win-win for everybody.”
Leading Edge began working on the room Jan. 12, and finished the next Friday.
Winters said the girls slept in the living room while it was being remodeled and did not see the room until the next Monday.
She said the reactions on the girl’s faces were priceless.
“They were super excited,” she said. “It turned out really nice.”
McKinnies said the project turned out exactly like they hoped.
“If we can make them smile, which is what happened with Peyton and Ally, then it’s perfect,” he said. “There wasn’t a whole lot we could change about the way this one went.”
Speakman said he would like to do a project like this once every three months, as long as it is financially possible.
“We will do it this again,” he said. “We haven’t gotten agreements from everybody else yet, but it will happen again.”
Winters said she would help Leading Edge with any work they would need on the next project.
“There are a lot of deserving kids out there that could use this, not just my kids,” she said. “Things like this make me proud to live in Southern Illinois.”
For more information on the project or to contact Leading Edge, call 618-694-4568.