Helping Their Dreams Come True

On May 5, the Pennington Athletic Club (PAC) in New Jersey held a fund-raiser for Dreamlift 2001, the Sunshine Foundation’s annual trip that takes 110 disadvantaged children to Disney World for a dream-filled day of fun. Called DreamDay, the PAC fund-raiser earned more than $20,000 for the cause.

DreamDay was a mini-carnival event held inside and outside of PAC. Members and guests were asked to make a donation as they entered the club or to participate in the activities of the day. DreamDay included games, horse and carriage rides, clowns, music, face painting, a silent auction, a bike ride, manicures and many other fun-filled events.

Although geared more toward children, the event also offered plenty for adults. PAC members felt like it was their DreamDay too as they enjoyed valet parking, having their cars washed as they worked out, seated massages and a complimentary juice as they waited for their cars.

PAC’s staff acted as the steering committee for the many volunteers who came to show their support for this worthy cause. Over the course of the day, hundreds of people—both PAC members and people from the community—participated in the activities. The event also received the support from many area businesses, which donated items for the silent auction. This was an event that involved the whole community in an effort to make children’s dreams come true.

Another successful part of the event was the “Adopt a Seat” program. Through this program, members and businesses could pay $250 and sponsor the Disney trip for a specific child.

To make the overall experience even more rewarding, participating PAC staff, members, volunteers and people from the community got together four days after the DreamDay event to witness the actual Dreamlift. Watching and feeling the excitement of the children as they boarded the plane bound for fun and fantasy was truly an emotional experience that the DreamDay participants will not soon forget.

“With the overwhelming success of our first DreamDay, we are already planning for next year’s event, which will be bigger and another great experience,” says Michael Briehler, president of the Pennington Athletic Club and DreamDay event chairman.