Camoflauge With Some Sparkle and a Tutu

Check out this post from Danielle Froning, a new member of our Dream Gala planning committee!

Photo by Themba Imagery

Photo by Themba Imagery

“What do I wear?” was the first question I asked when I was told we were attending a ‘Gala’. Never having been to a gala before, I had no idea what to expect. Little did I know at the time how little my outfit would matter in the grand scheme of things. I had never heard of the Dream On 3 organization before, so I took to google and spent time looking through their website and was instantly intrigued. Sick children naturally hold a soft spot for me, and being an avid sports fan myself, the idea of sports themed dreams for these special people was brilliant.

The Inaugural Dream On 3 Gala was held at The Ritz-Carlton in downtown Charlotte. We checked in and immediately hit the red carpet for some photo ops before walking through the overwhelming display of Silent Auction items. It was inspiring to see how many valuable items had been donated and spoke to the confidence people had in the organization. Items ranging from a signed Steve Smith picture (which we happen to be the proud owners of!) to an Auburn Football signed by Cam Newton (War Eagle!) to a signed Derek Jeter Baseball. The silent auction was such a hit that they had to ask everyone to venture to the ballroom for dinner a second time so dinner could be served.

Inaugural Dream Gala Silent Auction Photo by Themba Imagery

Inaugural Dream Gala Silent Auction                                               Photo by Themba Imagery

Throughout the cocktail hour I noticed several younger attendees whom I assumed were just out for an evening with the family. Before heading to the ballroom for dinner, I popped in the restroom where I met Dream Kid Angel Thompson. She was gleaming ear-to-ear with excitement of being at such an event. While waiting on my friend to finish up, Angel told me she loved my dress. Her reassurance on my dress was enough for me! Being a hunting enthusiast, Angel’s dress was camouflage print with some sparkle and a tutu – so, I obviously assured her I loved hers as well.

Dream Kid Angel at our Inaugural Dream Gala Photo by Themba Imagery

Dream Kid Angel at our Inaugural Dream Gala
Photo by Themba Imagery

Dream Kids at our Dream Gala. Photos by Themba Imagery

Dream Kids at our Dream Gala. Photos by Themba Imagery

During dinner we were introduced to the Dream Kids with videos of their story. After each video the Dream Kid and their family took the stage to show their immense appreciation for everything Dream On 3 has and is doing. And each of one of the Kids was presented with a gift that somehow fit ‘their dream’.

Dream Kid Nicholas Batley Takes the Stage! Photo by: Themba Imagery

Dream Kid Nicholas Batley Takes the Stage! Photo by: Themba Imagery

Dream Kids at our Inaugural Dream Gala. Photos by Themba Imagery

Dream Kids at our Inaugural Dream Gala. Photos by Themba Imagery

And then there was the final Dream Kid, Nicholas Thornton. The minute Nicholas’ video started, I was in tears because I knew this was one Dream Kid we weren’t going to meet that night. Nicholas passed away a month shy of living out his Dream Experience and that truly broke my heart. I was thankful for the amazing wait staff that had plenty of tissues on hand.

Olympian Lauren Perdue & DO3 co-founder Elizabeth announce the Nicholas Thornton Scholarship Fund

Olympian Lauren Perdue & DO3 co-founder Elizabeth announce the Nicholas Thornton Scholarship Fund. Photo by Themba Imagery

It was then and there, at dinner in the ballroom of the Dream Gala, that I decided I wanted to help in any way I could. I immediately reached out to Elizabeth Lindsey and offered my time to any of their numerous projects. The first task she assigned me too was helping plan the 2015 Dream Gala and I hope to help make it even bigger and better!

So, if you were there at the inaugural Dream Gala, we look forward to seeing you again, and if you missed it, I hope I’ve helped you realize what a magical night it is and look forward to seeing you in January!

-Danielle

SAVE THE DATE!

Our 2nd Annual Dream Gala will be January 24th at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte

We can’t wait to see you there!

Not Just A Day Dream

The following is a post from James Metsger, Lead Pastor at Renaissance Bible Church. James currently serves as Chairman on our Board of Directors at Dream On 3. Thank you James!

Not Just A Day Dream 

We love events. “Circle your calendar!” “The big game is on at 4!” “The concert starts at 8.” “The show begins at 6.” Events have a designated starting time. For the most part, we know when they end. They are clearly defined and measurable. We get excited about big events. We should. Events make for great memories. You remember the concert your drove across country for in college. You remember the game you snuck into as a kid. You remember the first date, graduation, or wedding day. Events are memorable, but they are also momentary. Eventually the music stops. Soon you go from passing classes to paying for classes. The wedding party is over and the hard work of marriage beings. What I’ve grown to love about Dream on 3 is that it’s not just a day dream.

 Dream on 3 makes dreams come true for children with chronic illnesses, developmental disabilities, or life-altering conditions by creating experiences of joy and magic through the world of sports. They “do” the event and they do it well! Yankee Stadium? Yes! Charlotte Motor Speedway? Start your engines! Miami Heat? They’ve experienced the Heat wave! What’s not to love about an event that brings joy to the heart of a child and his or her family? There’s nothing like seeing inexpressible joy on a child’s face when their dream comes true. I love serving with a great team of high caliber people. I love sports. I can’t play them, at least not well, but I love them. I love the perseverance and the passion of the founders of a great organization. I love the hoopla and excitement of the big day. I love seeing pictures and watching a video that captures the day forever. I love the opportunities they provide for kids that often don’t qualify for other wish granting organizations. But what I love the most is that when a family wakes up from their dream, Dream on 3 is still there. 

I love the event, but Dream on 3 is about more than the event. They are about more than making a day, they are about making a difference. Dream on 3 is about a process. It’s a process of finding a child whose life has been altered by an unwanted and uninvited guest. It’s a process of understanding the challenges a family faces. It’s the process of figuring out how to serve a family when they balloons float away, the confetti is swept away, and the team walks away.

What I love about this organization are the things no one else will ever see. I love hearing about the phone calls that come from grateful parents months after the event has ended. I love knowing that a mom can call Elizabeth, the Director of Operations and Programming, and tell her she had a rough day. I love that Brandon, the Founder and Executive Director, can attend a little league game where the only cameras aren’t from the press, but from the parents. I love that the ones leading the organization don’t just help Dreams come true, but they are there when the dream events are over and the process of life continues.

-James Metsger, Renaissance Bible Church  

Board of Directors Chairman for Dream On 3

James Metsger

 

Don’t forget to purchase your tickets for our upcoming Dream Gala on March 29th!