Riverside RV Creates Custom Travel Trailer for Make-A-Wish Dreamer

The Story Behind the 231 Ellie Art Bunkhouse 

The incredible strength and unwavering resolve displayed by 6-year old Eleanor Art in a battle against Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, led to the unlikely partnership between Riverside RV and the Make-A-Wish foundation of Massachusetts & Rhode Island.

Peter and Audrey Art, of South Dartmouth, MA, were not prepared to hear that their 4-year-old daughter, Eleanor, would be in a life or death battle against Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).  

“Eleanor was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in April of 2018”, stated Audrey Art.  Since then “There were some tough days, there were some good days, but she’s having great days lately.” 

Eleanor’s diagnosis led the Art family to reach out to Hannah Artbuthnot at the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Massachusetts and Rhode Island with the hopes of having a wish Granted for their ailing child, and several weeks later they received the call to come in for a meeting.

“I think we were all a little surprised in the room that day”, after hearing Ellie’s request, Audrey said.  “I thought she would have said Disney.”  Instead Ellie made the wish for a “Renovated Camper Van”, which left everyone in the room a little speechless.  “I just wanted it”, Ellie said, “So we can go camping in the forest!”  

“After hearing exactly what Ellie was wanting, I knew I had my work cut out for me”, said Hannah Artbuthnot, who is the acting director of the Make-A-Wish chapter of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, “but I remembered seeing these darling travel trailers called Retro, so I reached out to Chris Daniels at Riverside RV, and it took him all of 5 seconds to say they would love to be partner’s on the project.”

“When a 6 year old child, who is battling cancer, makes a wish for something that you have the ability to provide, then you provide it”, said Riverside President Chris Daniels, “It’s not everyday that a child, who has just overcome the toughest battle she may ever fight, asks for something as unique as a Retro Travel Trailer.  When something like that happens there really isn’t anything to think about.  You don’t have to crunch numbers, you don’t need to look at the bottom line, you simply say yes”, Daniels continued.  “So many times we get caught up in the day to day of running the business, managing people and product, that we forget just how fortunate we are in the RV industry.  Sometimes it’s the strength of a 6 year old girl that just finished beating cancer, that makes you stop and count your blessings and to take inventory on what you are able to give back and then give it.”  “For all of us at Riverside, the call from Mrs. Artbuthnot was a blessing, and there is no way that we would have passed on the opportunity to make this wish come true for Ellie.”

On May 20th of this year the Make-A Wish Foundation and Riverside RV were pleased to make Ellie Art’s wish a reality.  Riverside representative’s Damon Dejesus, Bobby Fish, and Chris Daniels joined Mrs. Artbuthnot of Make-A-Wish to deliver the Retro 231EABH travel trailer.  The “Ellie Art Bunk House” will be the permanent name for the new floorplan designed specifically for Ellie and the Art Family.

“This floorplan will be branded with Ellie’s Initials and be a constant reminder to everyone at Riverside of the impact that we can help make”, said Riverside’s VP of Sales and Marketing, Bobby Fish.  “There is no success in the business world that can give you this type of feeling.”To get a look at Ellie, The Art Family, and “Ellie Art Bunkhouse”, follow the video link.

ellie smiles in the window of her bunkhouse travel trailer
ellie art family riverside team and make a wish team
ellie art sees her new travel trailer
ellie art bunkhouse travel trailer

More of the Ellie Art Story 

Ellie’s story is gaining media attention. Watch the video and read the article from WBSM for more details on Ellie’s victory against cancer, her connection with Make-A-Wish and Riverside RV.