Local non-profit to grant dreams to chronically, critically ill children
Fundraiser planned for Aug. 1
Healthcare professionals at Mercy Pediatric Clinic in Cedar Rapids have come together to open the first Iowa chapter of the Dream Factory, which raises money to grant the dreams of critically and chronically ill children.
Tasha Murdock, Dream Factory of Iowa chapter founder/director and clinical lab specialist at Mercy Pediatric Clinic, said she was drawn to the Dream Factory because she has an older brother with cerebral palsy.
“A lot of dream-granting organizations only grant dreams to children who are critically ill with life-threatening illnesses," she said. "We grant dreams to children who suffer from critical or chronic illness. This stood out to me because my brother didn’t meet the requirements of other organizations, but he would have benefited greatly from this one."
Although the Iowa chapter was just established in March, the group has already chosen its first recipient: a 15-year-old boy who has spina bifida. Murdock said the boy’s dream would be paid for in full by another chapter, an organizational tradition to welcome new chapters. The boy and his family will travel to Give Kids the World in Florida for a week-long visit to Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld.
Murdock said the Dream Factory of Iowa’s greatest need is funding. The Iowa chapter is responsible for its own fundraising with 90 percent of the money raised staying in our area to fund the dreams of local children ages 3 through 18.
“We’re hoping the community will provide financial support to help us grant a second dream this year,” Murdock said. “The average dream costs $5,000 to $6,000.”
To kick off its fundraising efforts, the group is planning a motorcycle ride charity event with three stops at local bars. Registration for “Ride for a Dream” starts at 11 a.m. and the ride begins noon on Saturday, Aug. 1, at Wild Hogs Saloon & Eatery in Walford. There is a $10 entry fee to ride. In addition to the three stops, attendees can participate in a silent auction and raffle, and enjoy a live band and $5/plate dinner.
What: “Ride for a Dream” fundraiser to benefit Dream Factory of Iowa
Where: Wild Hogs Saloon & Eatery, 350 Commercial Drive, Walford
When: Saturday, Aug. 1 | Noon
To get involved with the organization or make a donation, visit http://dreamfactoryinciowa.org/.