Empowering the Dream

By Richard Mineards   |   May 24, 2022
Luncheon speaker Kira Duffy and Jennifer Gillon Duffy (photo by Kiel Rucker of Head & Heart Photography)

After a two-year absence given the pandemic, the Dream Foundation hosted its 11th annual Flower Empower lunch at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum, with a record 239 guests raising more than $140,000 for the popular organization that fulfills the final wishes of terminally-ill adults. “It’s so nice to be together again with real people and it couldn’t be a more beautiful day,” said Kisa Heyer, chief executive officer. “It’s nice to be back to normal!”

Flower Empower luncheon committee (photo by Kiel Rucker of Head & Heart Photography)
Dream Foundation board members David Nygren, Elizabeth Farnan Rodrigues, Wells Hughes

The boffo bash was emceed by former KEYT-TV weathercaster Alan Rose, who had flown in from Denver, Colorado, where he now broadcasts for NBC affiliate KOAA, and 13-year-old Brooks Firestone, a student at Riviera Ridge School, whose father, the ubiquitous Andrew Firestone, served as auctioneer. Kira Duffy, a senior at Dos Pueblos High and Youth Volunteer of the Year 2020, spoke.

Honorees at the floral fête included Jill Rode, Barbara Schoch, John and Vera Welty, the National Charity League Class of 2023, and the Alice Tweed Tuohy Foundation, while auction prizes included stays at the Four Seasons in Maui, Hawaii, Manhattan’s Greenwich Hotel, and the Ballard Hotel in the Santa Ynez Valley. There was also a colorful custom surfboard created by Santa Barbara High School senior, Katherine Hedrick.

Last year the Flower Empower program, which was started in 1994, logged 4,342 volunteer hours, resulting in the creation and delivery of 7,371 bouquets, as well as cookies made by longtime supporter Robin Himovitz.

Among the supporters attending the blooming bash were Corinna Gordon, Penny Bianchi, Valerie Banks, Jonathan Bishop, Ella Brittingham, Ivana Firestone, Renee Grubb, Melinda Rogers, George and Laurie Leis, Justine Roddick, Robert Sternin, Kimi J. Matar, and Luke Ebbin.


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