Nearly 500 supporters from around the United States and the world gathered Saturday for the 20th anniversary of the Dream Foundation, celebrating a remarkable two decades and fulfillment of 20,000 dreams.
After a pleasant social hour, silent auction and celebrity red carpet session at Bacara Resort & Spa, supporters enjoyed a dinner of lettuce and persimmon salad, filet mignon, sweet potato, vegetables and a chocolate dessert.
The ballroom festivities began with a nostalgic and polished performance by Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers and his daughter, Grammy-nominated McKenna Medley, including the tune “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.” A robust live auction followed, led by the energetic Andrew Firestone, who was accompanied by his wife, actress Ivana Bozilovic.
“This year’s combined upper-level sponsorship is more successful than ever before — a true testament to a belief in our mission,” Dream Foundation Executive Director Kisa Heyer told Noozhawk. “We are so grateful for the financial support of all of our donors.”
John Paul DeJoria was tapped as the 2014 Humanitarian Award honoree. DeJoria, co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems and The Patrón Spirits Company, has been helping dream recipients and their families since 2002. Bill Nicholson, a longtime supporter and Dream Maker, presented the award.
Genentech was presented the 2014 Outstanding Corporate Partner Award. The South San Francisco-based biotechnology company is committed to treating diseases beyond scientific development by helping patients realize their dreams. Genentech has been a corporate partner in Dreams since 2006, and its employees nationwide have been serving as volunteer Dream Hosts since 2007. Tanum Davis accepted the award on behalf of Genentech.
The Dream Foundation Board of Directors was well represented by president Kenneth Slaught, Hollye Jacobs, Richard Burnham, Mark DePaco, Luke Ebbin, J. Paul Gignac, David Glickman, Bob Murphy and Justine Roddick. The hardworking event co-chairs were Jelinda DeVorzon, Hollye Jacobs, Holly Murphy and Mireille Noone.
For its 20th year, the Platinum sponsors showed their support at the highest level: Colleen and Michael Barnett-Taylor, CFK Restaurants Inc., Gentiva Hospice Foundation, Arlene Montesano, Dee and Andy Puzder, Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree, and Bui and Herb Simon. Silver sponsors included the Chumash Band of Santa Ynez Indians, Genentech, Robin and Roger Himovitz, Jeff and Hollye Jacobs, Diana and Ralph MacFarlane, Holly and Robert Murphy, Elizabeth and Kenny Slaught, and Wells Fargo.
Sponsors of the 20th anniversary Celebration of Dreams event included Alma Rosa Winery, Bacara Resort & Spa, Beau Joie Champagne, Bell Town Wines, John Paul Mitchell Systems, Magnolia Event Design, O’Gara Coach Westlake, Rolls-Royce & Bentley Westlake, Patrón Tequila, Villa San-Juliette Winery, Walter Claudio Salon Spa and many others.
Former Dream recipients Christanne Adamik and Richard Mackin were this year’s special guests of honor and shared their personal stories of how the Dream Foundation has touched their lives.
Renowned DJ Chris Cox performed for the second straight year at the gala after-party, which was held in a luxuriously tented portion of the Bacara lobby.
The official anniversary date of the Dream Foundation was April 21. By October, the foundation had accomplished the milestone of having served 20,000 final dreams since its inception in 1994. The annual Celebration of Dreams Gala net proceeds are vital to supporting the program, which receives no federal or state funding and relies solely on corporate and individual contributions, grants and in-kind gifts. This is the 13th annual event.
The mission of the Dream Foundation is to enhance the quality of life for individuals and their families facing a life-threatening illness by fulfilling a heart’s final wish. The Dream Foundation is the only national dream-granting organization for adults.
— Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.