Dan Ryan Builders Constructs Treehouse for Bryans Road Boy
The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) had a part in a “Make a Wish” presentation to a 10-year-old boy in Bryans Road on Dec. 8.
Elijah Harris is recovering from his second bout with leukemia. The Make a Wish Foundation, a nonprofit that works to grant wishes to kids with life-threatening medical conditions, got in touch with Elijah’s family. What was his wish? A treehouse.
The young boy received his treehouse and much more as several community groups joined together to provide gifts for Elijah and his family. Dan Ryan Builders, headquartered in Frederick, volunteered to take on the main request, building the treehouse. The souped-up Dan Ryan Builders’ version includes a lookout tower and a pulley system with a bucket that will allow Elijah to pull up deliveries from below.
Many participated in the project. Dan Ryan Builders Community Sales Manager Kim Simonson initiated the company’s involvement. “I approached Adam Schueftan, my division president, and Dan Ryan, the owner of the company, and without hesitation, they said ‘Yes!’,” Simonson said. “Many of our vendors pitched in, and Lowe’s of La Plata donated $1,500 worth of fun [accessories] for the treehouse, including the mulch for underneath.”
Mike Toms, the construction company’s production director, handled the build, while Ingrid Anderson and Simonson handled the design and décor. “It was a team effort from the entire company. Tucker Tobin and Sean Holmes oversaw the build, and Doug Meeker of Elm Street Development gave us a variance to the common ground to permit the treehouse.”
A week before the reveal, both Anderson and Simonson were attending a fundraiser for the Charles County Hospice House. There they met Maryland State Del. Edith Patterson and invited her to the treehouse event. “That is where the story got even more wonderful,” Simonson said. In one week, Patterson connected with several other organizations for their consideration of other ways to brighten the family’s day.
The treehouse reveal on Dec. 8 was attended by Maryland State Sen. Mac Middleton, Charles County Commissioner President Peter Murphy, Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry and many others who came to celebrate with Elijah.
Elijah clearly enjoyed seeing his wish come true. And this young boy who loves to read and do arts and crafts was happy to find his new treehouse stocked with books and games. “He wanted … a place that he could forget about the illness and just be a kid,” Simonson said.
CSM Director of Development Chelsea Brown gave scholarships to Harris and his three younger brothers to attend CSM’s Kids’ and Teen College this coming summer. Brown also gave each of the boys bags full of CSM gear, including hats and shirts.
“We were delighted that Del. Patterson reached out and asked us to be a part of this event,” Brown said. “It is days like these that show just how generous our community really is and how much we can make a difference.”
Other gifts for the family came from a variety of community organizations, including the Southern Maryland Chain Chapter of The Links Incorporated, Charles County Sheriff’s Office and the Southern Maryland Agriculture Development Commission.
“This was so wonderful, to give back to our community,” Simonson said. “Without the community, we wouldn’t be in business. It was a blessed day.”
To view a gallery of photos from the event, visit http://csmphoto.zenfolio.com/elijahswish.