Dream come true -- in purple!
Little Juliana Urbach has a home-away-from home that's all hers. And it's right in her backyard.
"She wakes up and first thing in the morning, still in her pajamas, runs out to play in her house," says Juliana's mother, Jessica, town of Clifton. "We haven't put furniture in there yet, just some foam on the floor and a beanbag chair.
"The playhouse is amazing. It is something that she will enjoy today and every day for many, many years to come.
"I can see her and her siblings playing, having sleepovers and a quiet hangout well into their teen years."
Jessica said that as a baby, Juliana had seizures and other medical problems. Later she had surgery for a cancerous tumor.
The family was eventually put in touch with Make-A-Wish. The national nonprofit organization tries to grant joyful wishes to children with a life-threatening medical condition.
Last spring two "wish-granters" came to the Urbach house.
When they did, Jessica said her three-year-old daughter had a specific wish: A purple playhouse.
"Purple is her favorite color, it has been for a long time," Jessica said. "She wants everything to be purple and wishes our house was purple."
After the visit and interview, Juliana knew her house was coming -- someday.
"Before the date was set, she kept asking when the wish ladies would bring her house," Jessica said. "She asked us if she could still live in our house until hers was ready."
Juliana's dream wish was brought to reality on July 8 by Dan Ross, president/owner of Ross & Associates of River Falls, and one of his construction crews.
When Ross was first contacted and told about Juliana's age, he reflected on his three lovely young granddaughters -- one the same age as Juliana. That made it easy to say yes to the little girl's wish project.
The aim was not only to build the playhouse but devise a surprise element. The best way was to build onsite with the Urbach family away for the day.
That's just what Ross & Associates and his voluntary work crew did.
"Dan Webb, a journeyman carpenter, said he couldn't remember ever building a house in one day after 35 years in construction," Ross said. "But considering it was a playhouse for Juliana, the guys had eight hours to get it done and set the stage for the big surprise."
For the complete story, please see the July 18 print edition of the River Falls Journal.