SANTA BARBARA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dream Foundation–the only national dream-granting organization for
adults and their families facing terminal illness–held its 14th
Annual Celebration of Dreams Gala Saturday, November 7th at
the Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara.
The event was sponsored by longtime supporters, and corporate and
in-kind partners Colleen Barnett-Taylor & Michael Taylor; CKE
Restaurants Holdings, Inc. (parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s);
Genentech; Gentiva Hospice Foundation; Dee & Andy Puzder; Tracy &
Michael Bollag; The Himovitz Family & El Capitan Canyon; the Santa Ynez
Band of Chumash Indians; Wells Fargo; the Bacara Resort & Spa; Patròn
Tequila; John Paul Mitchell Systems and Walter Claudio Salon Spa. The
evening was produced and designed by Merryl Brown Events and directed by
Dream Foundation welcomed more than 400 guests for a magical evening of
high caliber entertainment, decadent cuisine, live and silent
auctions, and touching dream stories. The organization also announced
its rebranding campaign, complete with a new logo and tag line, “Giving
Life To Final Dreams.” The event honored Gentiva Hospice Foundation with
the 2015 Outstanding Corporate Partner Award.
Former Gentiva president and founder, Dick Burnham, presented the award
to former president, Jeff Shaner, who happily passed the baton and award
to current president, Paul VerHoeve. A corporate Partner in Dreams for
the past 16 years, Gentiva Hospice Foundation has helped serve more than
9,000 final dreams.
The Gala also saluted Andy Puzder and John Paul DeJoria, the founding
supporters of Dream Foundation’s newly launched Dreams for Veterans
Puzder, CEO/President of CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. (parent company
of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s) and DeJoria, of The Patrón Spirits Company
and CEO/Co-Founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems, shared the stage and
remarks about Dream Foundation’s Dreams for Veterans program and why
they choose to support it. They were also presented with challenge
coins—a deep-rooted military tradition—by Dream Foundation Executive
Director Kisa Heyer.
Dreams for Veterans is the first national program that specifically
serves and honors terminally ill veterans with the fulfillment of a
final dream. In soft launch for a year prior to its public launch in
September 2015, the program has already served more 200 veterans.
The evening began with a cocktail reception, Tesla Santa Barbara
automobiles on display, and silent auction with more than 70 items,
including artwork being created on the spot and a selection of fines
wines hand-picked by the Foundation’s board members from their own
Local entrepreneur and favorite “Bachelor,” Andrew Firestone, and
wife, Ivana, led a spirited live auction where guests rallied back and
forth to secure their favorite trips and treats, including a luxurious
tropical vacation to New Zealand and Fiji that raised $27,000 for the
organization with the generous contribution of longtime Dream Foundation
supporter, Colleen Barnett-Taylor.
Former Santa Barbarian and dream volunteer turned country/American
musician, Natalie Noone dedicated her performance to a dreamer she had
the honor or meeting. Teenage sensation, Sara Stevens wowed the audience
with a voice beyond her years and O.A.R. (Of A Revolution) gave another
epic live performance that they are known for around the world.
To the delight of all, former Cirque De Soleil performer, Eros Biox and
renowned hand balancer, Andrew Moraru performed a beautifully eccentric
piece choreographed specifically for the occasion.
As Dream Foundation receives no state or federal funding, the annual
Celebration of Dreams Gala is meant to raise awareness and resources
vitals to serving the final dreams of more than 2,500 dream recipients
nationwide per year.
There was not a dry eye in the house when former dreamer, Tara
Middleton, shared her story and fight for life after discovering she had
an inoperable brain tumor. Having received a prognosis of just three
months to live, she has remained positive and continues to beat the odds
Sheri and Jimmy Malone, wife and son of former dreamer and veteran,
James Malone, also shared their story. They spoke of James, who passed
away a day before his dream to visit Washington, D.C. was to be
fulfilled and that how regardless, Dream Foundation was able to restore
his faith in people during his final days.
Directly following the Gala, an after party hosted by Grammy
Award-winning DJ Chris Cox commenced in the brilliantly transformed
lobby of the hotel, spearheaded by Dream Foundation’s Generation Dream
Committee Chairperson, Heather Hambleton. Generation Dream aims to
involve and excite the next generation of philanthropists. The after
party also included sprits by Patrón Tequila and the New Belgium Brewing
Company, sweets by ProYo frozen yogurt, and late night bites from the
Carl’s Jr. ® Star Diner. The after party sponsors were Eric & Elenor
Wernicke, PayJunction, First Click Inc. and the Gardner Grout Foundation.
Dream Foundation has never turned away a qualified dream request. With a
48 percent increase in dream requests over last year, the organization
is in need of support more than ever.
to learn more and help make dreams come true.
About Dream Foundation
The only national dream-granting organization for adults, Dream
Foundation enhances the quality of life for individuals and their
families facing terminal illness. Dream recipients are those individuals
who have been given a year or less life expectancy. Dreams range from
basic needs items, like a working stove, to bedside reunions and
meaningful experiences with children and loved ones.
Founded in 1994, Dream Foundation serves more than 2,500 dreams each
year and relies on a network of volunteers, sponsors and individual