Friday, November 6, 2015

The Dream Factory (Oregon Chapter)


DisplayStar donates a custom printed 10’ Star Fabric display to be used as a backdrop at the Dream Factory of Oregon’s annual fundraising gala.  The tension frame pulls the fabric graphic taut, providing a smooth, edgeless surface for the high-resolution, dye-sub graphic of the children’s smiling faces to stand out. 


“If dreaming means to see new possibilities—the Dream Factory organization may grant dreams, but the children inspire us to dream.  As they embrace life and live courageously with life-threatening and chronic illness and disorders, they remind us that life is too precious to waste questioning the moment—and not being in the moment.” 

Pure Joy, Sheer Excitement and Dreams Realized
This week I had the pleasure of getting to know the Oregon Chapter of the Dream Factory.

Years ago, Terry Niedermeyer, DisplayStar’s President, had crossed paths with the Dream Factory and was inspired by their organization. So when he heard they were preparing for their annual fund raising gala, he was happy to donate a Star Fabric display, banner stand and table throw.

The gala event was Saturday, October 24 at the Multnomah Athletic Club Ballroom in Portland. The evening included live entertainment, raffles, and a silent and live auction. It was a great success with hundreds in attendance—and $100,000 raised!


The Annual Dream Factory Gala raises $100,000 to make dreams come true for critically and chronically ill children.  The hard working Board of Directors take a moment to reflect on the evening’s success. 


“The 10’ Star Fabric was great choice for a backdrop,” Terry explains.  “The large graphic really captures the pure joy and sheer excitement of the children’s faces at the moment their dream has been realized.”

“In addition, the pink and blue lighting of the Gala worked to really illuminate the display.”


A Picture is Always Worth a Thousand Words
The images of the children at theme parks or with their favorite celebrity hero, not only provides memories that the children will cherish forever, but it also serves as a source of inspiration for all the volunteers and donors who work tirelessly to make it happen. 





Brittany Sullivan, a Dream Factory Volunteer Coordinator, understands how the image would engage and inspire potential donors at the gala event. 

“We were hoping to make a bold, visual statement by highlighting the joy that Dream children feel when their dream is fulfilled.  It is easy to tell a story about a child's dream, but as they say ‘a picture is worth a thousand words!’  People engage more when they have a visual representation.”

“. . . [the display] items will triple our visual exposure and I have no doubt that this will substantially help us to tell a child's story.”



How the Dream Factory Differs
1)  The Dream Factory is the only national children's wish-granting organization that grants dreams to children with chronic illnesses as well as life-threatening illnesses. They believe that children with chronic illnesses should also be given a reprieve from their constant struggle with medical problems. The Dream Factory strives to provide happiness, inspiration and hope for children and their families so they may have a little extra strength to face the difficult and emotional times ahead.

2)  The Dream Factory is an all-volunteer organization on the chapter level with a small staff at their national headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky. This very low overhead allows The Dream Factory to consistently dedicate at least 80% of all funds raised to the direct expense of granting dreams.

3)  Their dedicated volunteers raise money in their own communities and then use those funds to grant the dreams of local children. Because of this grassroots approach to fundraising, 92% of all funds raised remains in the community of origin to grant dreams to local children.




The Dream Factory Grants Dreams, the Children Inspire Us to Dream
If dreaming means to see new possibilities—the Dream Factory organization may grant dreams, but the children inspire us to dream. As they embrace life and live courageously with life-threatening and chronic illness and disorders, they remind us that life is too precious to waste questioning the moment—and not being in the moment.

I was inspired when I read about dream recipients Kanya and Kiera. Kanya, although born without legs, has embraced her athleticism and competitive spirit and gone on to become the third fastest woman in wheelchair racing in the United States. Kiera, a quadruple amputee, is a skillful modern dancer whose dancing artistically communicates passion and beauty.

Kanya’s other dream is to be a model. Thanks to the Dream Factory, Kanya received her dream of a professional modeling shoot. Kiera, who has stricken the word “disability” from her vocabulary, proved just how able she is by performing at Julliard, the prestigious New York City arts school. Through generous donations, the Dream Factory of Oregon was able to coordinate a week-long stay at Juilliard, where Kiera sat in on classes and performed a special routine for the students.



Kiera, a graceful modern dancer, participates in the Gala events.  Through generous donations, the Dream Factory of Oregon was able to coordinate a week-long stay at Juilliard, where Kiera sat in on classes and performed a special routine for the students.



If you are interested in reading more, making a donation or volunteering at The Dream Factory of Oregon, please visit The Dream Factory of Oregon.