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! 

Happy Birthday Dream On 3! (Part 2)

In this post, Martha and Danny Borrell talk about DO3’s first year. We’ve come so far in such a short time! We couldn’t have done it without the support of our friends, family, and community. 
1. Looking back over the last year what were your favorite or most rewarding

Dream Kid Zasheed takes in his Dream Photo Cred- Themba Imagery

Dream Kid Zasheed takes in his Dream
Photo Cred- Themba Imagery

moments?

Danny– By far my most rewarding moment was being there for the Zebulon and Zasheed Dream Experience.  It is hard to pick just one point in time, but I would have to say it was when Zasheed stepped foot onto the field at Yankee Stadium.  To see his face as he turned and looked up into the upper deck and around the stadium was priceless.  We witnessed a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.  His face will be forever etched into my mind.

Martha– The sincere joy on the faces of each Dream Kid.  The happiness they exuded and graciousness for being selected and experiencing their sports dream.  Specifically, Zasheed’s ‘Thank You’ on the video from the Yankee experience.  He was so genuine with those two words!
Photo cred- Themba Imagery View more at http://thembaimagery.com

Photo cred- Themba Imagery
View more at http://thembaimagery.com

2. What surprised you the most along the way?
Danny– While we did face some obstacles during the preparation phase of each dream experience, it was amazing how each experience pieced itself together seamlessly.  Whether it was Joe Cox at Elegant Transportation selflessly donating the entire 2 day limo service or our flights being upgraded to 1st class, it seemed as if there was divine intervention that helped us make sure that each experience was worthy of the child’s wish.
 Martha– The toughest / most frustrating thing is that because I live out of state I have not been able to attend any of the dream experiences.
3. Do you wish anything had gone differently?
Danny-  Yes… I feel terrible that Sunny and Donald did not get to go onto the field during batting practice at Yankee Stadium.  It was such a great experience for everyone involved but we had to leave 2 behind because of tight security.  But, I think that as we get more Dream Experiences under our belt, we are learning how to streamline the process. 
4. What is your favorite part of a Dream Experience?

Danny- I love hearing the athlete / team / agent reaction to each child’s wish.  These athletes get requests everyday, ranging from autographs to interviews, to anything in between.  But when you introduce them to the Dream Kid, it is amazing to see how they interact with each other.  Professional athletes sometimes get a bad rap, but put them in front of a child who is in need of some good fortune and roles change:  the athlete looks up to the dream recipient, not the other way around.
Martha– Because I have not been able to be at a Dream Experience, I love looking at the pictures and videos that are posted on line. 
5. Describe a moment that you were worried something wouldn’t go as planned:

Danny: I worry every dream experience that something won’t go as planned.  I try not to, but you want so badly for these kids to enjoy their Dream Experience to the fullest!
6. What are you most excited about for the future of DO3?
Danny: In the future I am most excited about meeting more DO3 kids and granting their sports’ wishes!
Martha:  More dreams being fulfilled.  Being able to experience first hand, a child’s dream being granted.  The growth and expansion of DO3.  
-Martha and Danny Borrell, Co-Founders of DO3
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Learn more about Dream On 3 at dreamon3.org 

Happy Birthday Dream On 3!

Elizabeth Lindsey and daughter, Victoria, on the way to Nicholas' Dream Experience.  Photo Cred: Themba Imagery

Elizabeth Lindsey and daughter, Victoria, on the way to Nicholas’ Dream Experience.
Photo Cred: Themba Imagery

A year ago this month, Dream On 3 was created by Brandon & Elizabeth Lindsey and Martha & Danny Borrell. Through the incredible support of friends, families, and even strangers, we have met all of our one year goals and beyond! We are so grateful for all of the help we have received along the way.

In this post, co-founder Elizabeth Lindsey reflects back over Dream On 3’s first year. Enjoy!

1. Looking back over the last year what were your favorite or most rewarding moments?

“Telling our 2 Dream Kids – Nicholas & Zasheed (& both families) that we were going to fullfill their Sports Dream!”

Dream Kid Zebulon and his mom at our CrossFit fundraiser.

Dream Kid Zebulon and his mom at our CrossFit fundraiser.

 2. What surprised you most along the way? 
“How our community has supported Dream On 3 & this mission.  Everyone that we share our story with wants to help in some shape or fashion.”
The CrossFit Charlotte community came together to raise money for our NYY Dream Experience!

The CrossFit Charlotte community came together to raise money for our NYY Dream Experience!

3. What is your favorite part of a Dream Experience?
“The send off!  Seeing the overwhelming excitement & joy it brings to a child and their family.”
Dream Kid Nicholas calls Elizabeth to tell her they need a bigger vehicle!

Dream Kid Nicholas calls Elizabeth to tell her they need a bigger vehicle!
Photo Cred- Themba Imagery

Describe a moment that:
1. You were touched by a Dream Kid or family:
“BJ meeting Doug Floutie at the Touchdown Club – seeing his confidence & genuine excitement shine through.  Despite his physical battle he was joyful.”
Dream Kid BJ meets Doug Flutie

Dream Kid BJ meets Doug Flutie

2. Everything came together perfectly:
“What we call “Dream Mojo” – the McNeal family being upgraded to FIRST CLASS to New York City!”
Dream Kid Zasheed and his mom on the way to NYC -Photo Cred: Themba Imagery

Dream Kid Zasheed and his mom on the way to NYC
-Photo Cred: Themba Imagery

3. You got that “teary-eyed/goosebumps/Ty Pennington just ‘moved that bus'” feeling:
“Every time I watch Zasheed say “Thank You” in the McNeal video with the upmost sincerity while receiving NY Yankees gear on their Dream Experience at the MLB Fan Cave.  You can tell the experience made a difference for him.”
Dream Kid Zasheed shows off his new NYY hat

Dream Kid Zasheed shows off his new NYY hat!
Photo Cred- Themba Imagery

 4. What are you most excited about for the future?
“To grow our Dream Team (volunteers, partners, donors) & serve more Dream Kids = the ability to make a difference.
-Elizabeth Lindsey, Co-founder of DO3

CrossFit Joins The Huddle

It takes a lot of hands to help make Dreams come true for our Dream Kids. Our most recent Dream Experience was made possible through the hard work of Charlotte’s CrossFit community in September. They came together to help make dreams come true for Zasheed and Zebulon, 2 local brothers battling serious health conditions.

Video by Jason Longoria 

Local athletes endured a grueling work out consisting of burpees, wallballs, box jumps, fireman’s carry, pushups, and a little running. All proceeds from the event were used to send the McNeal brothers to NY where they had their sports dreams come true at Yankee Stadium.

Special thanks to Mike and Laura Dascal!!

Learn more about what it takes to make Dreams come true here.

One Year Later

A year ago this month, we decided to start Dream On 3.  We had no idea what we were doing and knew nothing about running a charitable organization.  Through the loving support of our family and friends and by seeking out the Lord’s guidance and wisdom, we are proud to say that we have survived year 1!
Here are some of the things I learned about running a non-profit.
Lessons Learned in Year 1:

10) When you’re not paying someone, you can’t simply go after their hands and backs…you have to get their hearts!

9) Don’t measure success by immediate reactions or outward signs of gratitude….you may not always get it.
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Photo Cred: Themba Imagery

8) Everybody knows somebody! We are so thankful that we know people that know people.
7) Forget your pride and everything you were ever taught about talking to people about money.  If you don’t ask….you don’t get!
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Photo Cred: Themba Imagery

6) Non-profits are competing for the same dollars as for-profit businesses, but are expected to play by a different set of rules.
5) People are good!  Given the chance to lend a helping hand or make a difference in their community…99.9% of people would say they will help.
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Photo Cred: Themba Imagery

4) 2-3% of those people will actually take the time or steps required to get involved.  This is especially true of us southerners (myself included).  We really do mean well…bless our hearts!
View More: http://thembaimagery.pass.us/dreamon3

Photo Cred: Themba Imagery

3) Believe it or not….sometimes the story relayed by the media is not exactly the story you were trying to tell.
2) No one understands hope and faith better than a child.
1) God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers.
-Brandon Lindsay, Founder of Dream On 3 
BJ with gift2
Thank you to all of our friends and family who have helped us along the way, we couldn’t do it without you!
Learn more about Dream On 3 at www.dreamon3.org. Visit our “Ways to Help” page to see ways you can help us make more dreams come true!

Meet Donald

Hey Dreamers!

Check out our NYY Dream Experience video! We would like to thank Donald Wilson, CEO of Blach Collar Entertainment, for graciously agreeing to document another Dream Experience for us.

Donald first brought his talents and time to us for our 1st Dream Experience with Nicholas earlier this year. Thanks to Donald, we can share moments from Dream Experiences with you. The videos are also a treasure that our Dream Kids can reminisce on and share with their family and friends.

Videographer Donald Wilson on our NYY Dream Experience Photo Cred: Themba Imagery

Videographer Donald Wilson on our NYY Dream Experience
Photo Cred: Themba Imagery

Blach Collar Ent. is a full service production company that provides videography and photography for a wide range of events. If you or someone you know is looking for a talented videographer visit http://www.bce4.com/#!about-us/cisx.

Thank you Donald!

Videographer Donald Wilson with DO3 Founder Brandon Lindsey.
Photo Cred: http://www.thembaimagery.com

Dream Mojo

Dream Mojo

I love my job. But on Dream Days in particular, I truly feel like I have the best job in the world! Ever since I watched my first episode of Extreme Home Makeover, my dream job has been to be Ty Pennington and get to say “welcome home ___ family, welcome home.” On Dream Days, I get to be Ty! Dream Day is the culmination of months of preparation, planning, and unfortunately a little bit of stress. The goal is to gift our Dreams Kids and their families with an unforgettable experience, without them having to worry about a thing. Sometimes that works, and sometimes it doesn’t. However, the one thing that we can count on every time is something that we at Dream On 3 refer to as…Dream Mojo.

Dream Mojo is just our fun way of referring to God’s blessings on Dream Day. It can show up in the form of an unexpected interaction with a celebrity, an unplanned upgrade at the airport or hotel, or a priceless reaction from one of our Dream Kids caught on camera. For me, this is the most exciting thing about Dream Day. We get to see how He is going to apply His signature on His artwork.

We’re on the plane heading home from New York, exhausted from the whirlwind tour the day before. My body says “SLEEP” but I don’t want to risk forgetting yesterday’s Mojo. It started at 5:30am. I can still see Zebulon and Zasheed’s reactions when their child life specialists exploded out of a stretch limo carrying behind them a red carpet! DO3 can schedule it, but we can’t manufacture a moment like that!

The most unbelievable Mojo moment was when I stepped up to the ticket counter to print our boarding passes only to learn that our entire group was sitting together….in first class! “WHAT!” As much as I would love to say that we had something to do with that, we didn’t.

Imagine if your first time in an airplane was in first class! I’m stretched out in an oversized seat answering questions like…“what’s going on with my ears? What do you mean they’re going to pop? Are those clouds or a blanket of cotton? Is all of this food free?” I just smiled and knew that He had done it again.

The entire day was full of little moments like these. When we pulled up to the MLB Fan Cave, Tonique told me that we had left Zebulon’s diapers at the hotel. As we were debating fighting NY city traffic and heading back, we looked across the street and saw a Pharmacy that just happened to carry his size diapers. Everywhere we went the boys were showered with gifts and autographed memoribilia! It was like Christmas morning. We experienced this all day long, but funniest story came at dinner time.

Prior to the trip, Elizabeth had called and asked “what kind of food do the boys like to eat?” You can imagine our surprise to learn that their favorite foods were “steak, lobster tails, and shrimp.” Secretly, our budget more closely resembled a menu of hot dogs, pizza, and Lucky Charms. Elizabeth replied, “well, we’ll see what we can do.” I remember replying to her in the most respectful manner, “ARE YOU CRAZY? That was not the right response!” So what happened? After our time on the field, the entire McNeal family was invited to dine in The Legends Club at Yankee Stadium. They were told that in the Legends Club it is “all you can eat and drink.” And on the menu for the evening….you guessed it! “Please help yourself to all the steak, lobster tail, and shrimp you can eat” said the representative from the Yankees. Now how’s that for some serious MOJO!

Over the last 36 hours, the McNeal family has thanked us no less than a billion times.

It warms our hearts to know that this gift was received as it was intended and will be a day that they will never forget. However, as is always the case…the true blessings fell on those of us that got to play a small role in making these dreams come true!

Dream Kid Zasheed takes in his Dream

Dream Kid Zasheed takes in his Dream

Welcome home McNeal family, welcome home.

– Brandon Lindsey, Founder of Dream On 3