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Wednesday, February 20 , 2019, 6:06 pm | Mostly Cloudy 51º

 
 
 

Day Dreaming in November

Santa Barbara’s Dream Foundation produces undeniably one of the most elegant, pristinely executed and well-attended annual luncheons in town.

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Santa Barbara’s Dream Foundation produces undeniably one of the most elegant, pristinely executed and well-attended annual luncheons in town.  So, is it possible for them to out-do themselves? Let’s review as yet another fashionista-infused Dream event commenced on Thursday, Nov. 1.

The sixth annual First Ladies of Dream Foundation Luncheon & Fashion Show was held at breathtaking Bacara Resort & Spa. Guests were greeted with sparkling wine, then invited to peruse a decadent Opportunity Drawing (Blue Bee, Imagine, Santa Barbara Polo Fields, Saks Fifth Avenue …) as well as a chic cache lining the corridor showcasing jewelry designs by H. Stern for Diane von Furstenberg.

As expected, Bacara’s ballroom was transformed by the magical vision and meticulous hand of Scott Corridan and his design team.  To wit, the runway shot through the dramatic black and white ballroom like cupid’s arrow, fitting, as winged angels (read: hot male and female models) escorted Layla Khashoggi onto the stage to launch what was to be quite a riveting Live Auction.  Raised platforms, hosts to loungey dining vignettes, flanked the unique stage layout that seemed to hover above a sheath of highboy tables and chairs that masked the entire surface of the grand ballroom.  Giant white clamshells and skyscraper vessels bursting with white blossoms furthered the ethereal and linear theme for an exquisite presentation.{mosimage}

Speaking of presentations, the celebrity doused program line-up included Emcee Debbie Davison, "Sex the City’s" (and "My Big Fat Greek Wedding’s")  John Corbett, who partnered with Khashoggi for the Live Auction with a little help from Bo Derek, and performances by Idol’s lovely Jordan Sparks and a wickedly sassy Taylor Dayne got the crowd grooving.{mosimage}

Dream Foundation founder and president Thom Rollerson opened the program with this gesture of thanks: “Today I feel gratitude given the people represented here, whose generous efforts are keeping dreams alive in the hearts of those battling terminal illness.” Later, a genuinely touched Rollerson toasted the audience with heartfelt thanks to sponsors, volunteers and staff — whom he referred to as the Dream Family.{mosimage}

Other program highlights included Outstanding Volunteer Award recipient Mary Ann Casler, the Live Auction (which included a set visit to "Desperate Housewives," a trip to Bora Bora and a Diane von Furstenberg New York City getaway) and the special appeal during which each patron of the Mens Table stood to commit $5,000 each to continue the legacy of dream fulfillment.  Of note, the Mens Table was a fabulous new addition to the event sponsorship opportunities, and the brainchild of longtime supporter and Gold Patron Chris Edgecomb, who reflected, “Dream events are famous for being innovative and fun.  While tears may be shed, they are the result of Dream being a great organization serving an even greater cause. The important message here is that there will always be room for more sponsors, volunteers and supporters.”  Chris was joined by Jim Messina, Jon Bull, Steve Redding and others to enjoy a slightly more robust menu at a grand mahogany table placed center stage — a gallant and commanding a presence in the room such that Thom Rollerson joked, “Am I being knighted?”{mosimage}

Keeping with the Dream theme, the much-anticipated Diane von Furstenberg collection, Spring 2008’s “Under the Volcano,” embodied dreams flowing throughout the ballroom vis-a- vis fluid, feminine dresses, smart shorts, safari pants, regal wraps and sexy bikinis — variously offset by subtle mosaics, deep pockets, Jackie O sunglasses, white linen, big collars and Cote d’Azur hues. Not to be overlooked (and it was not) was the moxie march of the pony-tailed pixies strutting each size 2 rendition of this utterly delightful resort line evoking a jet-setting, tropical drink sipping, poolside frolicking state of mind ... in November.  It doesn’t get much better than that, Santa Barbara ...

Most poignant in what was an afternoon of many such moments was a moving video emphasizing the children of dream recipients.  Unforgotten by the Dream Foundation, its Toy Program provides upwards of 2,800 toy packages annually to the brave children of the terminally ill. This much-celebrated Dream scheme, as well as Flower Empower, a volunteer program that delivers donated flower bouquets to people battling catastrophic illness in the Santa Barbara area, are evidence of Dream Foundation’s dedicated far reach to touch all of the victims of terminal illness.

The Dream Foundation honored 850 wishes in 2007 and will raise that to a staggering 1,200 dreams in 2008. Perhaps more important than determining whether this event topped last year’s is the fact that the Dream Foundation continues to fulfill dreams to those suffering from devastating illnesses. Thom Rollerson and his staff, along with this year’s event chairs, Debra Borden, Martha Bull, Holly Murphy and Jana Young, thank all of the sponsors, volunteers and supporters for contributing in the creation and celebration of another memorable event so that others may dream.  For more information on the Dream Foundation and sponsor and volunteer opportunities, please visit www.dreamfoundation.org.

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