How does the local chapter of Dream Come True raise enough money each year to make children smile?
It's the little donations that make up a lot of the funds that help make dreams happen, but it's the big donors who make the biggest impact. This year's telethon raised $74,749.
The largest donation of $18,255, raised during the 26th annual Lehigh Township Benefit Festival and Car Show held Oct. 6 at Becky's Drive In was presented by Barbara Finley, who has been an employee of Becky's Drive In for nearly 40 years.
She said at the telethon that her grandson, Joey Zellner, was 9 years old when he passed away and that she always has her heart into helping Dream Come True.
The event, held on Oct. 6, had all sorts of family-friendly activities, good food and entertainment, flea market, car show and more to give everyone a fun time.
The second most amount raised at the telethon was $15,676.50, presented by Wayne Halliday, assisted by Blue Mountain Kodas and Legion Riders from American Legion Post 927, Gilbert. The funds were raised when 300 motorcycles and 40 antique and classic cars when on United Dream Ride on Sept. 15, which took participants from Gilbert to Elysburg.
Halliday, a passionate believer in Dream Come True, created United Dream Ride out of his love for riding motorcycles and Dream Come True.
His dream to create United Dream Ride became a reality when he paired up with American Legion Post 927, Eileen Thompson, president of Dream Come True, and Blue Mountain Kodas, who participated in the run. The Legion Riders held a breakfast and they donated all of their proceeds to Dream Come True.
Also making a big impact with his donation of $13,318.95 was Tony Wolfe, who raised the funds by organizing the Hunter Wolfe Memorial Golf Tournament on July 15 at Woodstone County Club, Danielsville.
Tony's son was only 12 years old when he became ill in October 2010. Hunter passed away on July 7, 2011 from leukemia. Because Hunter was an avid golfer, Tony decided to honor his son's life by organizing a golf tournament. Hunter was to receive a dream from Dream Come True, he chose to earmark receipts from the golf tournament to help another deserving child.
Hunter was too sick to ever realize his dream.
Wendy Borger presented $4,997.71, proceeds from a sausage stand at the Palmerton Community Festival in October. Borger and other volunteers put in many hours cooking, serving and cleaning up. She said that the sausage stand did so well this year that she had to close early on Saturday night so there would be sausage to sell on Sunday.
Art Werner of Bath held a motorcycle run that raised $2,016. Art lost a son and that is what keeps him interested in helping other children realize a dream.
Brandi Winters presented a check of $2,015 that was raised at the Fifth Annual Dream Come True Prom and Wedding Dress Sale that was held April 3 at Penn's Peak on Maury Road in Penn Forest Township.
Nearly 100 girls said "yes" to purchasing one of the hundreds of beautiful long gowns, short gowns, formal wear and some casual dresses that were perfect for every occasion, plus there were 20 wedding gowns in every size available at the event. The event was organized by Julianne Farina, marketing and public relations coordinator for Blue Ridge Communications and the event's coordinator.
Winters also presented a check of $619 that was raised at the fourth annual Breakfast with Santa event last year. The event is being held again this year.
Blue Ridge Communications will host the fifth annual Breakfast with Santa at Roadie's Restaurant at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe on Sunday, Dec. 8.
There will be two seatings this year. The first will be from 9 a.m. until 10:30 a.m., and the second will run from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.
The cost for children under 12 includes an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet, a free gift and a chance to win prizes.
"There is no better way to get in the Christmas spirit than a great breakfast with Santa, all while supporting a wonderful cause, Dream Come True," Farina said.
Reservations are required for Breakfast with Santa, and may be made by calling Roadie's Restaurant at 610-826-9100.
Eileen Thompson, president of the Dream Come True, Blue Ridge Chapter, said the organization completed five dreams so far this year, with six already approved for next year and three children in various stages of paperwork required before dream approval.
During the Dream Come True Telethon, Dreammaker Awards were presented to Wendy Borger, Wayne Halliday, Ohl's Fuel Oil, Veteran's Discount Oil LCC, Marc's Auto and Performance Driveline.