Category Archives: Celebrations

More than pancakes

This weekend, our Dreamer parents and families joined forces to put on the first annual IHAD Pancake breakfast, a benefit for Dreamer summer camp opportunities and programming.

From a fundraising standpoint, the event was a success, raising more than $1,300 and serving 208 guests who had a choice between plain and chocolate chip, and could add as many pancakes to their pile that they could eat. Bananas and delicious frozen fruit cups were served on the side.

More importantly, though, was the way everyone mobilized as a community to pull off the event. Dreamer mom Amanda McElvogue initially proposed the concept and rallied other parents to help seek raffle donations, work the kitchen and serve as cleanup crew.

The Dreamers took ownership of the event, working at the registration table and waitstaff. Amanda’s son, Daniel, definitely embraced the role of maître d’, seating and checking in on guests. We were so proud of how polite and helpful all of the students were.

This was a fantastic opportunity to connect the Dreamers with the community, practice their communication skills and showcase our organization. In the words of our Dreamers, “Let’s do it again next year!”

See more photos of the event on our Flickr. Thanks to all who joined us and donated, and to these generous sponsors:

Des Moines Area Hy-Vees

Save-A-Lot (SW 9th and Park Ave location)

Jordan Creek Wal-Mart

Fareway (Clive, IA location)

Fareway Grocery (SE 22nd Street location)

Target (Merle Hay Mall location)

Target (Southridge Mall location)

Target (Valley West Drive location)

An anonymous donor provided the pancakes and sausage

Bonus: Frozen Fruit Cup recipe (serves 16, multiply for large groups) 

Ingredients: 3 cups water, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 5 bananas, 20 oz. crushed pineapple, 12 oz. frozen orange juice, 22 oz. mandarin oranges (drained), 1 jar maraschino cherries, and 1/3 cup lemon juice.

Boil sugar and water until dissolved. Mix all other ingredients into sugar water and freeze in large casserole pans. Remove 30 minutes before serving.

Tagged , ,

Sweet Dreams 2012 was a success!

Can a canapé change the world?

Find more photos of the food and fun on our Flickr:

It seems like a simple notion, but for a group of Des Moines “Dream Makers,” finger foods set the scene for engaging a powerful philanthropic force. Every spring for the past six years, a committee of local women has gathered to host “Sweet Dreams” — a girls night out style get together–  to support the Des Moines “I Have a Dream” Foundation.

This April, Sweet Dreams raised more than $37,000 to provide support that will keep at-risk students in Des Moines in school, and help them on their way to college.

The right combination of food and friendship can indeed have a tremendous impact on a community. In addition to appetizers, this year’s event featured a touching testimonial from a past Dreamer, Kristen Holcomb, who shared how the organization impacted her:

Special thanks to 2012 Sweet Dreams Committee Members:

Dotty Thurston (Hostess), Kathy Stuart (Co-Chair) Michele Whitty (Co-Chair) Sara Bering, Nancy Bone, Diane Brown, Mary Cownie, Paula Duncan, Suzanne Farley, Priscilla Gilbert, Lynn Graves, Barbara Grefe, Ginny Hancock, Beth Koenig, Joan Middleton, Becky Moomey, Paula O’Brien, Cheryl Sypal, Nancy Vernon, Linda Witte.

Thanks also to Hoyt Sherman Place for lending us sound equipment, Tank Goodness for their delivery of warm, fresh chocolate chip cookies,  Cuisine at Home magazine staff for contributing a dish, Bethany Kohoutek for photography and Ephemera Design and Universal Printing for our lovely invitations.

Tagged , ,

A surprise for summer school

Last week, ABC 5 — along with sponsors Bankers Trust and Prairie Meadows — awarded IHAD a $1,000 grant to help pay for our summer school programming. The award also comes with a workshop from our friends at CultureAll.

It was a Publishers Clearing House type moment when Rachel Pierce arrived at school to present the check:

Surprise! IHAD received a $1,000 grant for summer school!

Watch this fantastic video of the ABC 5 “One Classroom at a Time” award presentation to learn more about how we’re helping students achieve their dreams:

Kamia answers interview questions like a pro

THANK YOU “One Classroom at a Time” Sponsors!

We're excited to host summer school for Dreamers at Callanan Middle School this year!

Tagged , ,

Pancakes, pancakes, get your pancakes!

The parents and students of the Des Moines ” I Have a Dream” Foundation are hosting their first ever All-you-can-eat Pancake Breakfast to raise money for summer camps and programs, and we’d love to see you there!

When: 8-11 a.m. Saturday, May 5, 2012

Where: Central Presbyterian Church, 3829 Grand Ave.
(Please use the rear entrance)

Cost: $5 per person or $20 per family (up to two adults and four children)

Tickets are available through Dreamer families, or by calling the IHAD office at 515-271-1974, or at the door.

Cause: The Des Moines “I Have a Dream” Foundation adopts classrooms of inner-city, high risk kids in first grade, provides tutoring & mentoring along with personal support along the way. Upon successful completion of high school, financial assistance  for college is guaranteed.

It’s an exciting gift for families to know that their child will be supported for college. And this year, our Dreamer parents have created this pancake breakfast fundraiser as a way to contribute to the Foundation’s efforts.

Join us for a fun (and delicious!) community event and help send kids to summer camp!

Tagged , , ,

Happy birthday to us!

A look back into our official document archives reveals that the Des Moines “I Have a Dream” Foundation received its 501c3 designation letter on March 9, 1990. So we’re counting today as our 22nd birthday!

1990 was the year we adopted our first Dreamer class of graduating 5th Graders from Moulton Elementary School in Des Moines. The Moulton Project sponsor was Grinnell College.

What’s on our birthday list? Consider gifting IHAD with a $22 “Happy Birthday!” donation. It’s easy to give via our online donation form. Or, have some fun with it through the Community Foundation Giving Cards. Buy one for yourself or for a friend. It works like a gift card for charitable contributions and it’s tax-deductible!

Your donation will help us fully fund the 2018 King Dreamer Project. These Dreamers are now in the 6th grade at Callanan Middle School in Des Moines.

Here’s to many more years of working to make the dream of a college education possible. Thanks for helping us celebrate!

1990 was also the year:

  • Nelson Mandela was released from Prison in South Africa
  • The Simpsons debuted on FOX
  • The skeleton of T.Rex “Sue” is found in South Dakota
  • East and West Germany reunite
  • The Space Shuttle Discovery places the Hubble Space Telescope in orbit
  • The first McDonalds was opened in Moscow USSR
  • Dances with Wolves won the Oscar for best picture
  • The Grammy for Best New Artist, which was awarded to Milli Vanilli, was revoked

Celebrating good grades (like a rockstar!)

In honor of last night’s Grammy awards, we thought we’d share a strategy for recognizing and celebrating good grades.

Dreamer Academic Coordinator Kristi Dusenbery came up with a creative “Good Grade Heroes”  (a riff off Guitar Hero) collage wall and the Dreamers LOVE donning rock star accessories like wigs and sun glasses to pose for pictures celebrating their latest good grades.

The wall was even featured in the Des Moines West Register a few months ago!

Check out a gallery on our Facebook page to see who is acing their exams.

Tagged , ,

Up close with our executive director, Emily

Emily W. Hamilton, executive director of the Des Moines “I Have a Dream” Foundation, was recently named a finalist for the Juice Magazine “YP of the Year” award. The award honors central Iowans under the age of 35 who have made an impact in their communities.

Emily W. Hamilton. Photo by Eric Rowley, Juice Magazine

Emily was recognized alongside five finalists at a January reception, which helped spread the word about the IHAD mission and the strong leadership and vision moving the organization forward. As a finalist, Emily was profiled in the magazine. She said:

“Because of my background and how my education impacted me, that is why I feel I can make a difference in children’s lives. My life was transformed in college. Grinnell opened a lot of doors and its programs gave me a strong sense of identity and social justice. Education is something I feel very passionate about, and I feel I should pay it forward.”

The article also quoted new IHAD board president Brennan Buckley, who shared these thoughts about Emily:

“Emily is a very unique person. She can look at not only what she has accomplished, which is a lot, but also what she can help accomplish in the future. There is no doubt she’ll have a long, continuous career in helping build this city.”

The Des Moines “I Have a Dream” Foundation is proud to celebrate Emily, her fellow finalists and winner Tiffany Tauscheck!

Check out a few more photos from the 2012 Juice YP of the Year event:

Thanks to Juice photographer Eric Rowley for sharing these!

Tagged , ,