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!

PRESS RELEASE- Local Child with Severe Chronic Asthma says… “Bring on the Heat!”

PRESS RELEASE:

Local Child with Severe Chronic Asthma says… “Bring on the Heat!”

Dream On 3 Helps Concord Boy Live Out Sports Dream In Miami

(Charlotte, NC) January 31, 2014 – As Concord residents bundle up to face a chilly Monday morning, one local child will be saying… “Bring on the Heat!” Zachyus Bowers is an 11-year old Concord resident who lives with severe chronic asthma. On February 3, Charlotte’s very own non-profit wish granting organization, Dream On 3, will give Zachyus the opportunity to live out his sports dream in sunny Miami, FL.

Zachyus is a patient at Carolinas Healthcare System’s Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital, located on the campus of CMC-NorthEast. He loves the game of basketball and is a huge fan of the reigning NBA national champions, the Miami Heat. When asked by Dream On 3 what his sports dream was, Zachyus shared … “I want to be a basketball player in the NBA so that I can have the chance to give back to others and be a good role model, like Dwyane Wade.” Dream On 3 will give Zachyus an experience of a lifetime and show him that despite the challenges of his illness, his dreams can come true!

In conjunction with Cabarrus Charter Academy and the staff at Carolinas Healthcare System’s Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital, an exciting sendoff has been planned for the morning of his Dream Experience. At approximately 8:00 am on February 3rd, Zachyus’s friends, family, doctors and teachers will gather to help whisk him off to Miami in VIP fashion.

Due to the severity of his condition, Zachyus requires an inhaler & nebulizer present with him at all times. He must carry several medications to treat his symptoms and schedule routine visits with his pulmonologist. Children with severe chronic asthma experience symptoms continuously. Episodes of wheezing, coughing, or shortness of breath are frequent and often require emergency treatment or even hospitalization. Zachyus has been hospitalized numerous times and is limited to only short periods of physical activity.

Dream On 3 (DO3) was founded in 2012 to support children with chronic illnesses, developmental disabilities, and life-altering conditions. The goal is to unite kids’ passion for sports with an unforgettable Dream Experience. DO3 is one of only a few wish-granting organizations to extendbenefits to children with chronic illnesses, such as severe chronic asthma.

They have received overwhelming support from the local healthcare community, and other national organizations for their attention to this group of children.

“Dream On 3 is amazing! Our team at Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital has thoroughly enjoyed working alongside this outstanding group.” ~ Lisa Webster, BS, CCLS (Manager, Child Life – Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital)

“Every child should strive for a life without limits and we are grateful for Dream On 3 helping Zachyus take another step in that direction.” ~William McLin (President and CEO Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America).

For more information about Dream On 3, Zachyus Bowers, or to attend the sendoff on February 3rd, please contact Elizabeth Lindsey at 704-301-5217 or email info@dreamon3.org.

Dream On 3 Mission Statement:

“Making 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”