Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Make a dream come true this holiday season!

As we celebrate this holiday season by reflecting all the good in our lives and generously giving to our loved ones and those in need, The Dream Factory is asking that you take a moment to think about “our” children. Please be a part of making a dream come true – to help bring a smile to the face of a child wanting, perhaps needing, to feel special as Christmas and the New Year approaches.

Giving a child a dream not only provides them with relief from their daily struggles and a meaningful experience with family and/or friends, it leaves all those involved with a lifetime of memories. “The Dream Factory sent all of us on an amazing trip,” a mother from our Central Missouri Chapter recently wrote. “Something comes up almost every day that reminds us of how much fun we had together and how blessed we are. Even years later, I still can’t find the words to express how grateful I am.”

To donate to The Dream Factory this holiday season – regardless of the amount – visit our national website at and use our secure “Donate Now” option through Network for Good. These children and their families face a life of hardships but you have the opportunity to help, and what better time than now. Spread the word of The Dream Factory. Make a dream come true this holiday season!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Note from the Director of Program Services

Hello everyone! Hope you’re having a lovely and carefree day/week/month/year, and thanks for being a part of this wonderful organization called The Dream Factory. I wanted to take this opportunity to give an update on things I’ve been working on at our National Headquarters in Louisville and what we have planned in the coming weeks/months. The year 2013 will be here before we know it.

Following this year’s mAAgic Flight and our National Convention in Orlando – both of those were huge successes I want to add – I’ve been strategically planning ways to make dreams more cost efficient and developing my own system in planning dreams in an attempt to make my time at Nationals more efficient. I am also working on developing relationships with both companies and individuals that we can incorporate into these dreams. It’s been a fun experience. I will say that we had a busy month of October – mainly with Give Kids The World and Disney trips – but things are starting to slow down a bit. Besides a few more “Mickey Mouse” dreams, I’m also working on celebrity dreams like Taylor Swift, Tyler Perry, Brad Paisly and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

One thing I want to mention, and give thanks to, is Atlantis Resort. Nationals has recently worked out a deal where Atlantis sends us six complimentary trips each year for us to disperse out to our chapters as needed. I’ve already sent two families to Atlantis – free of charge! – and I’m working on two others at the moment. Atlantis has been awesome to us and I’m so excited to make more dreams come true through this partnership.

Also, as for an update on our website (we all know we need a new one!), the IT Committee is still looking at different options. After a conference call a few weeks back, we’re forming a list of things we need and want with this new site and then will determine which developer best fits those needs/wants. I have my fingers crossed that we’ll have our new website, ready to launch, in early 2013. I can’t wait!

Be sure to follow us, and encourage others, on Facebook and Twitter, and on this blog. We need to continue to get our word out! That’s www.facebookcom/dreamfactoryhq and www.twitter.comhqdreamfactory. I will be adding a YouTube Channel within the next month, where we can have a central place for all our videos.

One more thing I want to mention is our Dream Factory Marathon Team. Runners can choose any marathon or half-marathon this spring and raise money toward The Dream Factory. There are lots of benefits to doing this, on top of raising money for a great cause. If you’re interested, just send me an email at

Well, I guess that’s it for now. From all of us at The Dream Factory, thank you for all you do!

-Tommie Kendall, Director of Program Services

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Volunteer of the Year Award - Tim Bach

The Dream Factory is so proud and thankful for all of our volunteers who continue to make us one of the top wish-granting organizations in the world. At our annual convention in Orlando last month, we gave out our Volunteer of the Year Award. With The Dream Factory relying almost exclusively on the work from volunteers, the Volunteer of the Year is one of the top honors given annually. And this year, fittingly, it went to Tim Bach from the Central Missouri Chapter.

Searching for a charity to be a part of five years ago, Tim Bach watched a promotional video about The Dream Factory. Instantly, his wife Paula remembers, he was hooked. What a treasure that short video turned into for both Tim and The Dream Factory. Five years and countless dreams later, Tim Bach is now an integral part of The Dream Factory and was this year's recipient of the Volunteer of the Year Award.

According to his wife, he was born to do this. “Tim is an organizer by DNA,” Paula says. “He is outgoing and friendly. He is caring. And he loves children. It’s pretty much a perfect fit.”

Tim is a dedicated volunteer whose commitment to making a difference in the lives of children in need has not gone unnoticed. The Dream Factory was pleased to present him with this award.

Rewind to 2007 and the eager Tim didn’t waste much time to get involved in the organization. He became the Central Missouri Chapter Vice President and later was a member on the National Board of Directors. This past year, he was elected Central Missouri’s President, became a mentor to new chapters, was appointed to the Executive Committee by Board President Janice Harris, and had a strong role in the recent Long-Range Planning Committee. He is an example of what volunteerism is all about so, not surprising, is presented with this award.

Paula says: “Tim does not do this to look good or be someone important. He just selflessly spends hours for one thing – the kids.”

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

mAAgic Flight!

We love mAAgic Flight! Did I say that loud enough? WE LOVE MAAGIC FLIGHT!!

The Dream Factory was proud to be a part of mAAgic Flight again this year. The excitement in Orlando was unreal, felt by the families we sent there and the volunteers who traveled to take part in the magical experience. The children arrived, one by one, at the Orlando Airport on Sept. 21 to a roaring crowd of Dream Factory supporters. The first child off the plane that day was little Emma from Syracuse – it just so happened that Emma was also the Syracuse Chapter’s first-ever dream fulfillment, adding to the excitement. And the final child to arrive, later that night, was Desire from St. Louis. Desire came off the terminal (facing all her screaming supporters), stopped her wheelchair and raised a fist in the air. What a way to end the day!

The children were then escorted to Give Kids The World in central Florida, possibly the most magical place in the world, where they stayed for seven days and got the opportunity to visit the amusement parks in the area. They were at GKTW until Sept. 27, and then they were flown back to their home cities spread across the United States. The Dream Factory was pleased to make 14 children’s dream come true.

mAAgic Flight is sponsored by The Something mAAgic Foundation, American Airlines and GKTW. This year, The Dream Factory and three other children’s wish-granting organizations took part. It is the annual marquee event for The Something mAAgic Foundation, offering children with life-threatening medical conditions a week-long “unforgettable” experience.

And that – an unforgettable experience – it was. It truly was awesome! Emma, Desire, and the 12 other children from The Dream Factory made memories that they can carry with them forever. These memories were much needed for the struggles these children face daily. And we at The Dream Factory were so happy to be a part of that.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Dream Factory: Who are we?

It all started with a single dream in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, in 1980. And now, more than 30 years and countless dreams later, it has blossomed into one of the largest children’s wish-granting organizations in the nation! Founder Charlie Henault wanted to do something special to help 7-year-old Tammy Keel and her family in Hopkinsville – sending them to the magical place of Disney World – and he never imagined it would lead to what is now known as The Dream Factory. So many people are thankful for Charlie and the so many others who have made The Dream Factory what it is today.

The national headquarters is located in Louisville, Kentucky, and serves almost 40 chapters scattered across the United States. We are volunteer-driven with more than 5,000 volunteers and only four paid staff members at the national office. The mission is to grant dreams to critically and chronically ill children from the ages of three through 18.

Now is an exciting time to be a part of The Dream Factory. We have recently formed a Long-Range Planning Committee to help lead us in the right direction with needed changes in the future. That committee has since been broken down into four sub-committees: Fundraising, IT, Marketing and Organizational Effectiveness. We are fresh from our 2012 National Convention in Orlando, and eager to get rolling on new ideas. This blog, along with other initiatives, is one of those ideas. Please like us on Facebook at, follow us on Twitter at, visit our website (we are in the process of launching a new, updated website in early 2013!) and continue to read this blog.

From all of us at The Dream Factory, thank you for your interest in our wonderful organization! And please help spread the word!