Sold Out! Dream Foundation’s 12th Annual Flower Empower Luncheon a Bountiful Success » Dream Foundation


Sold Out! Dream Foundation’s 12th Annual Flower Empower Luncheon a Bountiful Success

Press Release | May 26, 2023

The event raised over $150,000 to support the Santa Barbara program that delivers hope and compassion—in the form of bouquets—to those in need!

Santa Barbara, Calif.— Dream Foundation’s 12th Annual Flower Empower Luncheon, held on May 25th at the Santa Barbara Woman’s Club – Rockwood, was a sold-out success, raising over $150,000 for the program. The event also honored the devoted donors, volunteers and flower professionals that make it possible.

Honorees included Volunteers of the Year Betty Dominguez, Kathy Henry, and Sidonia Slaff; Youth Volunteers of the Year Stella Crawford and Charlie Weddle; Florist of the Year Margaret Lloyd of Margaret Joan Florals; and Program Sponsors Alice Tweed Tuohy Foundation, Colleen Barnett-Taylor and Michael Taylor, Robin and Roger Himovitz, and The Thornton Foundation.

KEYT’s former chief meteorologist Alan Rose and 2020 Youth Volunteer of the Year Kira Duffy, both longtime program volunteers, served as enthusiastic emcees. The afternoon was bustling as attendees prepared bouquets, enjoyed a sumptuous lunch courtesy of Seasons Catering, a robust silent auction, and an opportunity drawing that included an El Capitan Canyon getaway, an over-the-top picnic basket bursting with local cuisine and drinks, and a beautiful Westerlay Orchid display.

Longtime Foundation supporter Andrew Firestone and special guest, his daughter, Anja, hosted the paddle raise and live auction. The auction featured a 4-night Hawaiian escape, courtesy of Four Seasons Maui Resort at Wailea, and Dream Foundation’s Sustaining Partner, Alaska Airlines, a Los Angeles getaway with experiences at The California Club, Hollywood Bowl and The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens courtesy of Elizabeth Patterson, an exclusive art experience and painting courtesy of Colette Cosentino, and a luxurious 10-night cruise on Explora Journeys, Explora I from Quebec to New York City, courtesy of Steven E. Shulem of Strictly Vacations.

Flower Empower volunteers Greta Krieger and Sheri Smith shared their firsthand experiences touching everyone’s hearts.

Sheri has been volunteering for Flower Empower since 2014, after she was a recipient herself. “Flower Empower lets people know that someone cares,” she said. The 2017 Volunteer of the Year never misses a week and always assembles several bouquets for her 97-year-old mother to deliver at Maravilla Santa Barbara.

Greta received her first bouquet just 6-months ago following a neighbor’s referral and discovered the powerful impact of the program. “It was a dark time but Flower Empower changed my world,” she said. “The card that accompanies the bouquet is inspiring, the cookie is a warm hug. These personal touches really affected me. Flower Empower makes a difference.”

Ann Smithcors was remembered and honored with the Legacy Award of Excellence, accepted by her son, Mark Hunt. Ann began volunteering for Dream Foundation in 1996 and went on to spend an unprecedented 6,000 hours making and delivering bouquets for Flower Empower and volunteering for Dream Foundation’s Dream granting program, which fulfills final Dreams for terminally-ill adults. “She was a treasured member of our community,” says Dream Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, Kisa Heyer. “Santa Barbara was a better place because of her, and she will be greatly missed.”

The luncheon was made possible by event sponsors, underwriters, and the event committee.

Magnolia Sponsors included Elizabeth and Kenny Slaught and Southwest Airlines. Peony Sponsors included Kate and Arthur Coppola, Robin and Roger Himovitz, Wells Hughes of Arlington Financial Advisors, Shelley and Paul Schulte of the Rudi Schulte Family Foundation. Rose Sponsors included Colleen Barnett-Taylor and Michael Taylor, Casa Dorinda, Montecito Bank and Trust, and Elizabeth Farnan Rodrigues and Gerry Rodrigues. Orchid Sponsors included Elizabeth and Andrew Butcher, Tim and Louise Casey, Betty Dominguez, Jenn Duffy of Rimon Law, Impact Family Office, and Justine Roddick and Tina Schlieske. Daisy Sponsors included an anonymous supporter, Ella Brittingham, Laura Collins, Paul and Renee Crawford, Lisa Gaede of Carlyle Salon and Style Bar, Hospice of Santa Barbara, Elizabeth and Tom Patterson, and Timothy and Melinda Werner.

Event Underwriters included Marisa and Brett Grimes, David J. Nygren, PhD of Nygren Consulting, Claude Raffin in memory of Jon Gathercole, Eva Rhodes, and Sheri Smith.

The Event Committee comprised Michelle Avila, Rebecca Borgioli, Renee Crawford, Sheri Dirksen, Shannon DiPadova, Erin Griffin, Lynette Hall, Candy Hedrick, Robin Himovitz, Jenny Hoffman, Margaret Lloyd, Amie Parrish, Elizabeth Patterson, Melinda Rogers, Shelley Schulte, Crosby Slaught, Isabelle Stapf and Serena Weddle.

Dream Foundation’s Flower Empower program is a Santa Barbara-based, volunteer-driven program that delivers floral bouquets, fresh-baked cookies, fine chocolates, and hand-made cards to people in hospices, cancer centers, and their homes every week. Since its inception in 1994, the program has made more than 125,000 of these special deliveries. A recipient can be anyone in Santa Barbara in need of cheer.

To learn more about the program, please visit

About Dream Foundation:

Dream Foundation, the only national dream-granting organization for terminally-ill adults, fulfills final Dreams that provide inspiration, comfort and closure at the end of life. With the support of a nationwide network of volunteers, hospices, health care organizations and committed donors, Dream Foundation has served more than 34,000 final Dreams since its inception in 1994. Dream Foundation receives no state or federal funding—we rely solely on private donations. To support our mission please visit

For additional information, please contact Dani Cordaro at

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