Category Archives: Fundraising

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!


Thank you, Prairie Meadows!

The Des Moines “I Have a Dream” Foundation is a proud recipient of a 2012 Prairie Meadows Community Betterment Grant.

We joined hundreds of community nonprofit leaders and scholarship recipients at a luncheon last week. It’s so energizing to see everyone walking around with their oversized checks, catching up and connecting over the amazing work all of the organizations recognized are doing.

Executive Director Emily Hamilton (front left) and Project Manager Brianne Sanchez (front right), were joined by our newest Board Member, Grant Taylor, of JE Dunn Construction. Grant’s enthusiasm for the IHAD mission is boundless. We’re so lucky to have him on our Board!

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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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Be super! Participate in the Golden Circle Games supply drive

The Des Moines “I Have a Dream” Foundation is thrilled to be one of the recipients of the Golden Circle Games school supply drive, along with our friends at Children & Family Urban Ministries.

Golden Circle Games, which brings together co-workers from local companies to compete in an afternoon’s worth of wacky challenges, will be collecting the following at the gates of the Iowa State Fairgrounds in conjunction with the event:

  • 1 or 2 inch binders
  • Wide ruled loose leaf paper (150 sheets)
  • #2 Pencils
  • Pens (blue, black, red ink)
  • Boxes of tissues
  • Spiral notebooks (wide lined – red, blue, yellow, green, black)
  • 24 count colored pencils
  • Fiskar point tip scissors
  • Glue sticks

This year’s Golden Circle Games will be held on Wednesday, June 13th on the midway at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Gates open at 3:30 p.m. and all games will begin at 4:30 p.m. Presentation of awards will tentatively conclude by 9:00 p.m. The theme is superheros! Register your team today.

Can’t make it to the Golden Circle Games? You can always donate classroom items through our Amazon wish list!

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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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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!

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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

Make your Birdies for Charity pledge to IHAD

The Des Moines “I Have a Dream” Foundation is excited to once again be one of the recognized nonprofits for the Principal Charity Classic® Birdies for Charity® program!

For those unfamiliar with “Birdies for Charity,” donors like you can pledge pennies (minimum of two cents) per birdie  made by the Champions Tour players. There are typically between 700-900 birdies at the Principal Charity Classic.

So, as an example:  If you  pledged $.02 per birdie and there were 795 birdies in the tournament, you would donate $15.90.

Or, you can make a flat donation of $10 and still enter the “Guess the Birdies” contest.

The best part? Not only does the Des Moines “I Have a Dream” Foundation benefit from 100% of your pledged donations, but we also  receive a match of 25% of donations from the event! This is a fun way to amplify your giving and make an impact on the organization. To make your pledge, just select the Des Moines “I Have a Dream” Foundation from the drop-down menu of charities.

We’re grateful for your support and advocacy for our education initiative. Help spread the word about the opportunity to pledge for education by changing your Facebook timeline image (for a day, a week or however long you like!)


The Des Moines “I Have a Dream Foundation” empowers children in low-income communities to achieve higher education and fulfill their leadership potential by providing them with guaranteed tuition support and equipping them with the skills, knowledge and habits they need to succeed.

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