WHEATON – Madison Beguhul, 6, was taken aback when she arrived home June 16 to find the bedroom she shares with her 3-year-old brother, Matthew, had received a soccer-themed makeover.
"I love it!" exclaimed the Wheaton youngster, who is a big soccer fan.
But that wasn't the only surprise waiting for her when she got home. World Cup champion and Chicago Red Stars forward Christen Press also paid the two siblings a visit. She played in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup for the United States national team.
The makeover and visit from Press was made possible through Century 21 Real Estate, Easter Seals and U.S. Soccer. Madison receives occupational and speech therapy through Easter Seals.
The bedroom makeover was done in a day.
"The team was here first thing in the morning and completely redid the bedroom, from floor to ceiling," said Cara Whitley, chief marketing officer for Century 21.
This is the second year of the program. One family was helped in 2015 through the program, and this year, two families will be helped.
"It's about giving back, and giving back to the local community," Whitley said. "Century 21 has been in partnership with Easter Seals since 1979."
Madison is among about 1,000 children Easter Seals sees a week at its center in Villa Park. The center provides such services as speech and occupational therapy.
"Our goal is to make sure all kids have the developmental skills they need to enter kindergarten on track with their peers," said Theresa Forthofer, president and CEO of Easter Seals DuPage and Fox Valley region.
The family was grateful to be the recipient of the bedroom makeover and visit by Press.
"We feel very blessed for this opportunity and to meet Christen," said Lisa Beguhul, Madison's mom. "She's an amazing woman and amazing athlete. We just feel so lucky."
Press also said she felt honored to be part of the program.
"As an athlete, you sort of conceptualize the idea that you are inspiring the young players, but to actually get to meet a young girl who looks up to the team and to me is really special," Press said. "It puts everything into perspective about what we are doing and what we are playing for."