A night of heartwarming stories and a community coming together to celebrate two decades of giving. The Dream Foundation celebrated its 20th anniversary on Saturday at Bacara Resort and Spa. Hundreds came out to support the first and largest national wish granting organization for adults.
A number of celebrities and special guests also participated including Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers, KT Tunstall, and David Ryan Harris, live auctioneer, Andrew Firestone.
To say that Valerie Banks has a big heart is a complete understatement.
She’s the coordinator for Flower Empower, which is a volunteer program of the Dream Foundation that delivers beautiful bouquets, fresh-baked cookies, and fine chocolates to those in need in Santa Barbara’s hospitals, hospices, cancer centers, and private homes. During the week, you’ll see Valerie in the foundation’s parking lot supervising an army of volunteers as they tenderly arrange gifts with a kaleidoscopic of flower petals blanketing their feet. You’ve probably also seen their big colorful van, emblazoned with the smile-inducing “Flower Empower!” logo, driving around town, and Valerie is always behind the wheel.
So on this week before Thanksgiving, I salute Valerie Banks and her volunteers, and I’m grateful she took time to answer the Proust Questionnaire. (Read more)
Dream Foundation – the only national dream-granting organization for adults and their families suffering from life-threatening illness – held its 20th Anniversary Celebration of Dreams Gala on Nov. 8 with 500 guests from around the country in attendance at the Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara. Guests included Priscilla Presley, Nigel Lythgoe, Ivan Reitman, Tanya Callau Thicke, Eloise DeJoria, Ludi Delfino and CKE Restaurants CEO Andy Puzder, long-time supporter and 2013 Dream Foundation Outstanding Corporate Partner honoree.
The evening featured a celebrity red carpet, silent and live auctions, world-class entertainment and moving testimonials from Dream Foundation friends and supporters. Dream Foundation’s Annual Celebration of Dreams Gala net proceeds are vital to supporting the program, which receives no federal or state funding and relies solely on corporate and individual contributions and grants. Dream Foundation has never turned down a qualified dream request.
I experienced a first this weekend at Bacara Resort at the Celebration of Dreams Gala, where The Dream Foundation celebrated their 20th Anniversary: As Andrew Firestone whipped the room up into a frenzy during a live auction (he and his wife Ivana really are good at getting dough out of people), I witnessed a 12-year-old kid get up onstage, raise his bidder number over and over, and pledge $15,000 for a Hollywood package that included meeting Adam Levine at The Voice. Usually bidders are a bit older, but the kid was good for the money (his parents were egging him on from the side). The org helps people 18 years and older (over 20,000 of them to date) with terminal illnesses fulfill their dreams—whether it is talking with Laker Kobe Bryant or getting a pair of shoes from Lady Gaga.