Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wink's 'Dragon Shirt' to benefit The Dream Factory

It's mean.

It's green.

And it's back!

Wink Martindale's infamous Dragon character from the Tic-Tac-Dough game show will be featured on a retro-looking shirt and sold for $25. What's even better? For each of these sold, Wink is donating $5 to The Dream Factory!! But these shirts are offered for just a LIMITED TIME until Friday, April 11. Spread the word to help support one of our national ambassadors and The Dream Factory. To order, please visit


Wink was host of nineteen game shows including Tic-Tac-Dough in which The Dragon made appearances starting in 1978. Wink got his start with broadcasting in Jackson, Tennessee, at age seventeen and later moved to Memphis where he started a long career hosting game shows. He helped benefit The Dream Factory Memphis Chapter while celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of his restaurant, Martindale's. He was also the honored guest at the chapter's Celebrity Gala. Since 2007, Wink has been one of The Dream Factory's national ambassadors.
The Dream Factory wants to give a big thanks to Wink and his team of Caleb Nelson and John Ricci, Jr., for their support of this project. Now, please help support them as well!!!
The Dragon Shirt
$25 each ($5 donated to The Dream Factory)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Racing Team announces three new members

The Dream Factory Racing Team is happy to announce that three new members have joined the team for 2014. The first is training to race in his longest-ever event (314 miles!), the second is planning a 3,100-mile bicycle ride across the United States, and the third is aiming for a return to the Boston Marathon just one year after being there during the tragic events of 2013.

For information on how to join the team, check out


Ultra Runner going for 314 miles

Frank Pic

Frank will be competing in the Vol State Road Race, which is a 500K, self-supported event across three states in the middle of July. Why? “Because it’s there, but to actually complete this nightmare of an event, I’m going to need some motivation.” That’s where The Dream Factory comes into play. Frank approached us about joining The Dream Factory Racing Team as a way to give back to the community, and for that needed boost of motivation. “And maybe put a smile on as many faces as I can through my struggles,” he said. Frank is an outdoor enthusiast who runs the roads and trails around Louisville during early morning hours, nights and weekends. He said he started running three years ago and fell in love with it, culminating with a 100-miler finish in November. This will be his first attempt at an event this long. Visit Frank’s donation page at

Cycle across the United States

Kevin Gambill

Yes, that’s the kind you pedal! Kevin will start his 3,100-mile journey in San Diego, California in March with the final destination being St. Augustine, Florida. The plan: 85 miles per day and six weeks to complete, passing through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Kevin is riding with a guy from Texas who is raising money for M.S. “It’s one of those bucket-list things,” the 48-year-old said. “It’s less about the bike and more about the journey.” Visit Kevin’s donation page at

Return to Boston after the bombings


Amy had already finished her 26.2-mile race on Boylston Street, had already snapped and uploaded a picture to Facebook, and had already made her way to the hotel room before tragedy struck at the Boston Marathon last April. It was a day she’ll never forget! But as soon as registration opened to enter this year’s race, Amy signed up and is ecstatic to be going back again. She will be lining up with thousands of others who are eager to not allow last year’s events slow them down. The race is scheduled for April 21 and Amy will be representing The Dream Factory!!!


Please help support the Dream Factory Racing Team by joining today or donating toward one of these athletes!

Friday, February 7, 2014


I hadn’t put up a new blog post in a while, and was tossing around a few ideas so just decided to hit on different topics in one post instead. There are many other happenings within The Dream Factory, including all the proceedings within the Long Range Planning Committee sub-committees and other avenues we're using to generate a buzz, but here are a few items worth mentioning.

GKTW and Sunshine: After intensive renovations, Give Kids The World and The Sunshine Foundation Village – two places in Orlando we send many Dream Factory families to each year – are back in the full swing of things. We’re looking forward to the many, many more dreams that both of these places will help us fulfill. Thank you GKTW and Sunshine!!! We’re super excited you’re back in business and to see the updates.

Dream Factory Racing Team: We’re still recruiting runners for The Dream Factory Racing Team during the spring/summer racing season. We’re excited to announce three new members: one who is biking across the country, another who is competing in a 300-mile-plus ultra-marathon race and another competing in the Boston Marathon a year after being there during the bombings. More information about these three coming soon! Check out how you can be a part of this team on our website at the direct link

Louisville’s Dream Factory Marathon and Half: The early planning is already taking place for next October’s event with two important issues being discussed now: what will be the date of the race and the new course layout. Those announcements will be made very soon! We’re excited for another opportunity to be partnered with this wonderful event.

Football Dreams: While we’ve had so many dreams take place during the previous few months, there are two “football” dreams worth noting. Heaven, from our North Carolina Chapter, went to a Pittsburgh Steelers NFL game in December. He was able to tour the facility, attend a practice, hang out with the players and watch a game. He also received a jersey, signed football, a game ball and the gloves of his favorite player, wide receiver Antonio Brown. Perhaps even more impressive, our Lexington Chapter sent Ryan to the Super Bowl last week. Ryan was also able to spend time with the Seahawks the day prior to the game. These were two awesome dreams!

New chapters: We’re happy to announce there are some new chapters in the process of opening up so announcements on these will be made soon as well. Also, we want to point out our newly-formed Pennsylvania Chapter for completing their first dream. Lexi and her family went to the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas where they also had a swim-with-the-dolphins experience and went on a horseback ride.  And thanks to the Lexington Chapter for sponsoring this dream! Pennsylvania has hit the ground running and is doing a wonderful job!

                                                      Lexi from our Pennsylvania Chapter
March Meetings: We’re prepping for our annual March Meetings in Louisville. They will be March 21-22 so make sure to start making arrangements today, if you haven’t done so yet.

Social Media/Website: Besides Blogger, be sure to like us on Facebook at, follow us on Twitter at and check out our website at The IT Committee is in the process of updating our website.

And as always, continued to spread our mission!!!

~Tommie Kendall
Director of Program Services
February 7, 2014

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

It's official! Dalton Cyr named National Ambassador for The Dream Factory!

(Press Release)

The Dream Factory, Inc., a national dream fulfilling organization for critically and chronically ill children, announced that award-winning teen recording artist Dalton Cyr has been selected as a National Ambassador for the organization. Cyr, just 13 years old and managed in L.A., is already touring and working on his second album. He has been named one of the most promising songwriters in the world and has fans in 149 countries.

A rising singer/songwriter from Jacksonville Beach, Florida, Cyr will be added to the Dream Factory’s list of celebrities who bring big hearts and a commitment to making dreams come true for critically ill and chronically ill children aged 3 through 18 years old. The all-volunteer, non-profit organization which has granted more than 25,000 dreams, is the largest organization to grant dreams to chronically ill children and the second largest children’s wish-granting organization in the United States.

Anne Bunger, National Director and CEO of The Dream Factory Inc., says, “With the exposure that Dalton’s celebrity will bring to our organization, we hope to increase the number of Dream Factory chapters while adhering to the wishes of our founder that it remain a volunteer organization. As a National Ambassador Dalton will help increase our public exposure so that we may locate more children and be able to grant more dreams. In the process, we believe we will attract the attention of individuals who are looking for a rewarding opportunity, as well as national and corporate sponsorship.”

Dream Factory National Board Member, Laura Walitsky approached Cyr with the idea while he was in New York during his East Coast tour this summer. She says, “As a teenager who is overcoming obstacles to beat the odds and make his dreams come true, we believe Dalton has a perspective that will enable him to relate to sick children who face challenges every day and persevere. We are seeking respected, influential, members of our society to help promote our organization and demonstrate to these kids that they can dream big and that dreams can come true. We believe Dalton fits that bill.”

Cyr says, “I’m very honored and proud to represent The Dream Factory. Through my performances for Wolfson Children’s Hospital, I’ve met kids who work so hard just to survive. They inspire me. As a National Ambassador, I hope to help make more dreams come true and inspire people to start Dream Factory chapters when there isn’t one in their city or join in helping existing chapters.”

If you are interested in learning more about The Dream Factory, would like to find out about volunteer opportunities, start a chapter, know a child who may be eligible for a dream, or would like to make a financial contribution, please visit , email, or call 1-800-456-7556. For more information about Dalton Cyr visit

About The Dream Factory: The Dream Factory (a 501(c)(3) organization) is a volunteer-based, not-for-profit organization devoted to granting the dreams of critically and chronically ill children aged 3 through 18. The Dream Factory operates with 37 chapters and more than 5000 volunteers. Founded in 1980 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, the organization does not limit its mission to children who have life-threatening illness. The organization believes that children with chronic illnesses and disorders also suffer from substantial emotional and physical pain. It has grown to become the largest organization to grant dreams to chronically ill children in the United States, and the second largest children’s wish-granting organization. Relying on the generous support of individuals, corporations, and foundations, the organization accomplishes its mission through cash and in-kind donations along with the help of thousands of volunteers. Ninety percent of all money raised by The Dream Factory is used to grant dreams, a record recognized as a four-star charity, the highest rating given by Charity Navigator. For more information, visit .

About Dalton Cyr: An award winning singer, songwriter, musician, and recording artist, Dalton Cyr has toured the East Coast, Midwest and South. His debut 11-song album, “I’ll Be There” was entirely written or co-written by Cyr and songs for his second album, co-written by Cyr, were recorded with multi-platinum producer Paul Fox (10,000 Maniacs, REM, Ziggy Marley, Phish) and an all-star cast of musicians including drummer Josh Freese (Sting, Guns-n-Roses, Dixie Chicks.) Hand-picked by international talent scouts, he was named one of the world’s most promising songwriters. A high energy performer who instantly captivates audiences with his powerful guitar and intense vocal delivery, his original music uniquely merges pop and rock with infectious hooks, and immediately grabs people’s attention getting them out of their seats. He’s appeared on NBC, ABC, & FOX TV, NPR Radio and multiple radio programs and been featured on the cover of Folio Weekly Magazine, Jacksonville Magazine, Florida Times Union and numerous other newspapers and publications. His music can be found on iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, Google Play and many others. For more information visit

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Louisville's Dream Factory Marathon and Half

Twelve weeks and counting… The marathon (and half-marathon) that runs along the Ohio River in Louisville each fall has a long tradition, but this is the first year The Dream Factory has come on board as the benefiting charity, including the naming rights. And we’re very excited!!! Please help spread the word: Louisville’s Dream Factory Marathon and Half is Sunday, Oct. 20. It is now 12 weeks away. We’re aiming for 2,000 runners between the two races with the cap at 3,000. The course starts and finishes at American Turners off River Road with the flat, fast layout staying near the river for a majority of the route. Both races start at 8 a.m. The cost of entry into the marathon is $70 until July 31, $80 until Sept. 30 and $90 up until race day. For the half, the registration cost is $50, $60 and $70. Awards will be presented to the top-three male and female finishers overall, along with the top-three in each age category for both races. Part of the proceeds will be donated to The Dream Factory. Visit the race’s website at for more information or to sign up. Inquirers may also contact Tommie Kendall with The Dream Factory at 502.216.0378 or, or Todd Heady with Headfirst Performance at 502.550.9553 or Twelve weeks is still plenty of time to get ready to go the full distance of half so lace up your shoes now and head out the door. Also, tell all your running buddies about the race to help spread the word, or newbie’s looking for their first half. Increasing the numbers means helping The Dream Factory, both as a marketing tool to reach out to potentially thousands of people and as a financial gain. Louisville’s Dream Factory Marathon, Oct. 20!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Kisses from Abigail

We at The Dream Factory love hearing feedback from our “dream children” following a return from a vacation. Abigail, age 6 from our St. Louis Chapter, was particularly touching. Abigail visited the Sunshine Foundation on June 27 through July 3 with her family, including her parents, 8-year-old brother, 3-year-old sister and aunt. During their stay at Sunshine, they had three days at Walt-Disney World, one at SeaWorld and one at the beach. Following were her mother’s responses to a questionnaire following their return:

What was your child’s best part of the dream? Magic Kingdom: Small World Ride, Haunted Mansion, seeing Mickey, and by far the lights parade following the fireworks show.

What was your child’s favorite thing about the Dream Village? Abby loved the pool. It was a great ramp to walk her in and out. She did not want to stop swimming.

How has having this dream come true affected your child? Abby is tactile defensive and usually does not seek kisses, etc. like my other two children. She very, very rarely seeks kisses, almost never. At the Disney Parade, I asked her how she liked everything and she leaned forward and gave me the biggest kiss on the lips. (I cried, so special.)

Do you feel that having this dream come true improved your child’s health in any way? Abby definitely slept better; had a hardier appetite; was in high spirits for most of the trip.

According to her family, Abby was emotionally happier and upbeat, interactive with being open to trying new things and her expressions were laughing, smiling and singing. They also pointed out her pain/discomfort decreased with “less crying spells.”

How did this experience affect you and/or your family? We have not had a vacation since Abby was 2. This trip was like a refreshing rain after a very long drought. We have been able to enjoy and spend time with one another in the most wonderful setting. To Abby, life is a big party – she loves parades, music, fireworks – to experience all that was a dream come true!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Central Missouri's BIG event!

One event nets $109,287.42! Here’s how…

On April 12, 2013 the Central Missouri Dream Factory Chapter hosted the 5th annual charity poker tournament in Columbia. For the first time ever, the event sold out, welcoming more than 230 poker players from the local community to a packed venue for a night of Western themed fundraising. Participants were able to choose from three levels of registration: (1) High Roller buy-in  - $150 (2) Regular player buy-in - $75 (3) Non-player fee - $50.
After all the participants had time to enjoy some of the catered food and grab a few drinks, the night was kicked off with an hour of tournament play. Throughout the first hour, rewards were given to the players with the first full house, straight, etc. These prizes included gift certificates to local restaurants, bars, salons, and entertainment centers. Our event sponsors were introduced by Dream Factory volunteers, emphasizing the presence of Veteran’s United for their incredible donations to the Central Missouri Chapter. Veteran’s United has donated $10,000 per year while acting as the presenting sponsor each year since the charity event first began in 2009.
The live auction, which brought in roughly $30,000 throughout the night, began after the first hour of play and was split into two sets of five items each. Some items of the auction have become so popular over the last few years that they are considered trademarks of the event and are highly anticipated by all who attend. For example, a painting done by Madeline Horrell, a dream child of Central Missouri, sold for over $3,000 at this year’s event and has been just as popular in the past! Madeline has been using art therapy as a method of rehabilitation following the removal of numerous brain tumors; a story she shared with our audience. The live auction is concluded with an event favorite, the paddle raise “Build-A-Dream” item, encouraging those in attendance to contribute to a portion of a dream by donating $1,000, $500, $250, or $100.
As the night progressed, participants begin losing their pots and the pool of players grew smaller and smaller. This year, the final table of the poker tournament concluded around two o’clock in the morning and the winner was awarded his hefty trophy.  By the end of the night when all donations had been tallied and expenses deducted, the Central Missouri chapter of the Dream Factory had raised a total of  $109,287.42. With so much funds raised, the chapter will be able to support 25 kids and their families for a dream!
None of the success from Central Missouri’s charity poker night would have been possible without the hard work of the volunteers who organized the event as well as the strong support from their local community.  In January 2013, Dream Factory volunteers Tim Bach, Erin Heath, and Paula Stuebben resumed their weekly meetings with six employees of some of the events most involved donors: Veteran’s United, Landmark Bank, and the AddSheet. The same group has worked together for the last few years to plan and improve the poker tournament each year and in years to come. January marks the beginning of the four months of planning required to organize such an exciting and elaborate event. After allowing themselves one night of food and celebration, the team of volunteers is already back to work planning to make a 2014 tournament which will be even more successful than 2013!

Submitted by:
The Central Missouri Dream Factory