Dream Foundation‘s recent annual gala raised awareness and vital funds to continue its work in fulfilling the end-of-life Dreams of terminally-ill adults.
Special guests, supporters, friends, and partners of the organization began the evening on the terrace at Ritz-Carlton Bacara with a cocktail reception and bidding on more than 70 items in a silent auction that featured two tickets to the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in January 2018 and a private party at the home of Dream Foundation Board Member, Justine Roddick and local musician, singer, songwriter, and gala entertainer, Tina Schlieske.
Then long-time Dream Foundation supporter Andrew Firestone and Dream Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer Kisa Heyer welcomed guests and introduced special guest speaker, Jim Mills. Gala attendees were touched as Jim shared his wife’s heartwarming dream story and spoke of the important role Dream Foundation played at the end of her life and how it has forever changed his life.
After dinner, Dream Foundation supporter and Hollywood producer, Nigel Lythgoe introduced Sir Cliff Richard, Britain’s all-time greatest hit-maker (he released his 102nd album in 2016) who performed four of his hit songs, including Dreamin’.
Claire Wineland then took the stage to share her unique and inspiring outlook on life. Claire, 20, who has been living with cystic fibrosis (CF) for her entire life, founded Claire’s Place Foundation at the age of 13 to provide support to children and families affected by CF. She is the also the author of the bestseller Every Breath I Take, Surviving and Thriving with Cystic Fibrosis.
Her inspiring message led into a beautiful video highlighting dreamer Joel Brown and his family, who traveled to Kentucky this year on a dream trip to watch the Eclipse. Joel, Melinda and their three young children had been learning about the natural wonder for years and had planned to see it in person until Joel was given a life expectancy of 12 months in April. This once-in-a-lifetime family dream experience was captured and will be treasured by his wife and children forever.
The evening continued with a dynamic live auction featuring an exquisite painting of Marilyn Monroe by British-American Pop artist, Russell Young as well as lavish trips to Hawaii, British Columbia and New York complete with VIP tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, an incredible culinary experience with Urbani Truffles and Truffle Lab NYC, luxury accommodations at The Mark Hotel and so much more.
Local musicians Tina Schlieske and the Graceland Exiles w Sister Laura gave a passionate performance to end the program. Dream Foundation Board Member, Vice Chairman, Luke Ebbin made a surprise appearance on the guitar to make the performance extra special. Schlieske who has shared stages with Lenny Kravitz, The Wallflowers, Indigo Girls, and Etta James, performed Runnin’ Down a Dream and American Girl as an ode to Dream Foundation supporter and legendary musician, Tom Petty.
The night ended at the exclusive after-party featuring DJ 2nd Nature and Patrón Tequila.
“I am overwhelmed by the generosity of our Dream community of supporters,” says Dream Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, Kisa Heyer. “The funds that were raised this evening will help bring life to over 2500 Dreams in 2018.”
Daryl Stegall served as Gala Chair for the second year in a row. The annual Dreamland Gala net proceeds are vital to supporting Dream Foundation’s numerous programs, which do not receive any federal or state funding and rely solely on individual donations and corporate partnerships.
For more information, visit DreamFoundation.org.