Sunday, March 18 , 2018, 3:29 pm | Fair 59º


Ireland, Presley and ‘Idol’ Abrams Join Dream Foundation Emeritus Reunion

The Dream Foundation, the first and largest national wish-granting organization for adults and their families battling life-threatening illness, gathered its past board members Thursday night along with Priscilla Presley, Kathy Ireland and artist Casey Abrams to provide a retrospective of the foundation’s history in advance of its 20th anniversary next year.

“We are on the cusp of some very exciting growth, which will allow us to serve more families and continue our founding promise to never say no to a dying adult,” Dream Foundation founder and President Thomas Rollerson said in addressing the crowd at the first-ever Emeritus Board Dinner held at the El Encanto Hotel. “It has taken a village to bring the gift of final dreams to now nearly 17,000 individuals and their families. You are that village of dream makers.”

Longtime Dream Foundation ambassadors Ireland and Presley received special recognition for their consummate service to the Dream Foundation over the years. Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and American Idol alum Abrams performed selections from his self-titled debut album released through the Concord Music Group.

“You realize what these people are going through. They need some form of hope,” Abrams said of the individuals and their families served by the Dream Foundation. “It’s all about the recycling of happiness. When you see they are happy, you get that feeling that you have helped in a little way.”

The gathering of nearly 50 committed and supporting individuals included 13 emeritus board members as well as current members of the Board of Directors, Medical Advisory Board and Honorary Board of Governors.

All in attendance have worked in various capacities since the Dream Foundation’s inception in 1994 to fulfill its mission of enhancing the quality of life for individuals and their families facing a life-threatening illness by fulfilling a heart’s final wish. Since that time, the organization has welcomed more than 1,600 volunteers and numerous corporate Partners in Dreams nationwide, who all assist to serve more than 2,500 dreams annually.

Ireland is the founding Dream Foundation ambassador, a position she accepted in 1999. She has also served on the Honorary Board of Governors since 2003. Ireland generously donates her time meeting dream recipients and attending Dream Foundation events.

Presley has served as a Dream Foundation ambassador, Honorary Board of Governors member and spokeswoman since 2002. She travels and represents the Dream Foundation across the country, spreading the mission, meeting dream recipients, and hosting and attending events.

The event was hosted by a steering committee consisting of longtime supporters Clay Dickens, Ron Macleod, Holly Murphy and A.J. Rice.

— Kelly Sweda is the communications manager for the Dream Foundation.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >