Page 21 - Giving Back Guide - 2022
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Let's Dream a Little!
story by Kelsey Sunderman-Foster photos courtesy of the Dream Program
   The Dream Program was founded in 2006 to serve and enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities residing across the Mississippi Gulf Coast and surrounding areas. The Dream Program is inclusive and available to all individuals, with and without disabilities. Currently, there are 14 recreational program offerings, and all are free of charge to the participants. As the program enters its 17th year of operation, the success and valuable impact on the South Mississippi community has been astounding.
“Our program provides opportunities to people with disabilities that allow them to participate in organized sports and other activities that they might not otherwise be able to participate in,” said Bill Dungan, executive director of the Dream Program. “While we do offer traditional sports such as basketball and flag football, we’ve expanded to also include therapeutic horseback riding, tennis, and even art and music.”
Dream’s sports programs are organized into two leagues: varsity and junior varsity, which are based on the skill level
of the athletes and their dependency requirements. “We play unified sports, meaning we partner an athlete with a disability with a volunteer,” explained Dungan. “Our volunteers are the life blood of the program.”
The Dream Program is entirely a volunteer organization, including the executive director and board of directors. “We rely upon the generosity of individuals, businesses and other organizations to sustain the program and continue to provide these services,” Dungan said. “Our major fundraiser each year is the annual Charity Golf Tournament and Silent Auction.”
In addition to these programs, Dream hosts social events for its participants including an annual Christmas dinner and dance, sports banquet, Biloxi Shuckers games and the chance to ride in the Ocean Springs Mardi Gras parade. All of this is provided free of charge to more than 200 athletes from the age of 10 and up. “While we have
a great many younger athletes, this program is here for everyone, regardless of age,” said Dungan.
Dream Program
228.471.5054 |
Together We Are Making a Difference
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