PHOENIXVILLE >> Disney World isn’t the only place where dreams come true.
Just ask volunteers at Dream Factory, a non-profit aimed at assisting children ages 3 to 18 with chronic illnesses. Volunteers with the organization have been working locally on granting wishes to children in need and now they’re holding one of their biggest fundraisers in the Phoenixville area for the first time.
“This is the fourth year we’ve had the Gala but this is the first year in Phoenixville. We’ve held events before at the Radnor Hotel and at Waynesborough Country Club. We wanted to expose it to a couple different areas,” said Michael Pron with Dream Factory.
The organization began in 1980 with one all-volunteer chapter in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, according to their Facebook page. Since then, The Dream Factory has grown into the second-largest children’s wish-granting organization in the United States, granting over 25,000 dreams since its inception. The Dream Factory now has 38 operating local chapters with over 5,000 volunteers. These individuals raise funds within their own communities and then use those funds to grant the dreams of local children.
“We did one for a family that had several children with needs and we typically do trips to a lot of places but this family wanted something to do at their house,” said Pron about one of the dreams the foundation has granted. “So we built them a playground in their backyard, with a slide and a swing and everything you’d find at a public park. That one was pretty cool because it wasn’t like the traditional trip to Disney.”
To help raise money for similar endeavors, the organization will be holding their Fall Gala, which is scheduled for Saturday Oct. 14 at the Foundry, 2 N Main St., Phoenixville. Guests at Saturday’s event will enjoy live music, a 5-star quality dinner with paired wines as well as a raw bar and a champagne cocktail reception. Guests will also be able to bid at live and silent auctions. Miss Philadelphia will also be attending the event to tell her story, sing and help present a dream. Events in previous years have helped raise over $100,000 for the organization, according to Pron.
“I think its a unique opportunity to help children in their own community,” said Pron. “Knowing the money will go to granting dreams to children and that it’s raised by volunteers right here in our local chapter, I think that’s the most important thing.”
Although tickets for the event are nearly sold out, anyone interested in volunteering for events or granting dreams to children can visit the Dream Factory website at dreamfactoryinc.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dreamfactorypa.