Category Archives: Events

Run the Harvest Dreams 5K at Living History Farms

We are excited to benefit once again from the Harvest Dreams 5K, which will be held at Living History Farms on Saturday, July 28, 2012.

Organized by the Contributors Breakfast Club, this evening race is  followed by a band and a great lively atmosphere that the whole family can enjoy! We can promise it’s not as cold and muddy as the Living History Farms Off-Road Race in November, and it raises money to support our cause!

Register today at and we’ll see you at the starting line!


National Dreamer Conference Volunteer/Sponsorship opportunities

The Des Moines “I Have A Dream” Foundation is excited to host the 11th annual National Dreamer Conference, which brings together students supported by “I Have A Dream” programs nationwide.

In July, more than 100 middle school and high school Dreamers from across the country will gather at Drake University to participate in three days of workshops focusing on college and career readiness.

Dreamers will interact with college professors, local professionals, current students, speakers, and program
alumni who have achieved their college goals, and engage in conversation about how to be successful in school and careers.

Students receive a reading list and come prepared to participate in seminars on college selection, career options, leadership, decision making, and public speaking. Dreamers leave having experienced life on a college campus. This time spent immersed in the college environment helps the students to envision their academic futures. They return home inspired and equipped with the tools needed to be personally successful.

We are currently seeking sponsors to help us present this fantastic opportunity to Dreamers, and highlight all Des Moines has to offer.

Individuals may also volunteer at the event, with registration/checkout on July 18 and 21, or a lunchtime “Career Bingo” networking event on Thursday, July 19, 2012.

Please contact Brianne Sanchez ( for Conference details on how you or your company can help!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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The Des Moines “I Have a Dream” Foundation is sponsoring the Feb. 28, 2012  Business Record Power Breakfast on the topic of  “Polishing your Corporate Image.”

Attendees will hear a fantastic panel presentation on tips and tactics for enhancing a corporate image in the community.


Brennan Buckley, our board president, will deliver a brief overview on IHAD programming, impact and leadership.

There’s a strong connection between our IHAD model of proactive dropout prevention and bolstering Des Moines’ workforce and economy. Our immediate goals focus on a specific group of at-risk students, but our long-term strategy encompasses enhancing the quality of life for families through education.

Did you know:

In Greater Des Moines, an estimated 1,100 students dropped out of the Class of 2010 without earning a diploma. Cutting this number in half would yield 550 “new” high school graduates who would likely make additional contributions to the Des Moines community by:

* spending $13 million more on home purchases than they would likely spend without a diploma;
* supporting 60 jobs and increasing the gross regional product by as much as $8.9 million by the time they reach the midpoint of their careers;
* earning $6.7 million more in an average year compared with their likely earnings without a high school diploma;
* spending an additional $5 million and investing an additional $1.7 million in an average year.

Read more in the fantastic Business Record article “Study: Cutting dropout rates would boost Iowa’s economy”

Don’t forget to secure your tickets to the upcoming Business Record Power Breakfast!

Join us for the Business Record Power Breakfast