2015 a Huge Success and 2016 Planning Underway!

Wow, what a great year for the Dream Team in 2015! After over four months of training, 39 (yes 39!) youth completed the entire 462 mile journey across Iowa from Sioux City to Davenport. By completing this monumental adventure, each youth earned their bike to keep as their own. With a bike, helmet, clothing, and months of hands-on experience, these young men and women are equipped to continue the positive experience of cycling. But more importantly, they are equipped to set goals and work hard towards achieving them. We’re so proud of each and every one of them and the growth we saw in them throughout the year.

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After completion of RAGBRAI, we all gathered together on the evening of August 1st to reminisce about the year, celebrate each others’ accomplishments, and wish the very best to those graduating.  Here is a photo from the 2015 Dream Team banquet:

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And now, we look forward to the 2016 year! Our leadership group is already planning and preparing for another incredible season. If you would like to help support our cause, please consider donating to the Dream Team! Thank you to everyone who has shown support throughout the year!

Thank You Sammons Financial Group!

We would like to thank Sammons Financial Group for their support of the Dream Team.  Their $2500 donation helped the team immensely to accomplish their goal of finishing RAGBRAI.  Thank you for your belief in the youth and our program.

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Dream Team 2015 Fund Raising Campaign is on a ROLL!

Birdies for Charity! Birdies.Revised.LogoThe Principal Charity Classic

Again in 2016 the Dream Team program has partnered with The Principal Charity Classic and the Birdies for Charity program.

The Principal Charity Classic is an annual Champions Tour event at Wakonda Club in Des Moines. It is a wonderful community event in the metro area and contributes greatly to the economic vitality and quality of life in central Iowa. In the past eight years, The Principal Charity Classic has distributed $6 million to local non-profit organizations supporting children.

Community spirit is the driving force on the links at The Principal Charity Classic, and Central Iowans have a great opportunity to benefit area children’s programs by raising additional funds through Birdies for Charity. In 2015, Dream Team is a qualified participating organization and will receive 100% of EVERY DONATION collected on our behalf and have the potential of extra money through the “Bonus Bucks” program which is sponsored by Sammons Financial Group. Donate now, or learn more.

With the Bonus Bucks program, every donation made by you to Dream Team will be matched with an additional 10% by Sammons Financial. We appreciate your support!

BACoon Sizzles with a BIG Donation!

bacoonimageWhat happens when the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival collides with RAGBRAI? You get the BACooN RIDE: The RIDE for the CURED!

The event was presented by RAGBRAI, the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival and the Iowa Bicycle Coalition and was held on Saturday, June 28, 2014! Mentors from the Dream Team volunteered at the event and were presented with a check for $8000!

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The Dream Team is thrilled to be a supported charity of this event and you can learn more at www.bacoonride.com.

 

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The BACooN Ride Supports Dream Team

bacoonimageWhat happens when the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival collides with RAGBRAI? You get the BACooN RIDE: The RIDE for the CURED!

The event is presented by RAGBRAI, the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival and the Iowa Bicycle Coalition and will be held on Saturday, June 28, 2014!  Not only will the BACooN RIDE be great fun, but 100% of the proceeds benefits the Iowa Bicycle Coalition, RAGBRAI’s Dream Team and other great Iowa charities!

The Dream Team is thrilled to be a supported charity of this event and you can learn more and register at www.bacoonride.com.

 

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Dream Team Volunteers Reveal the RAGBRAI Route!

RAGBRAIannounceDream Team Volunteers participated in the reveal of the 2014 RAGBRAI Route at Hy-Vee Hall in downtown Des Moines.

As part of the event, Dream Team volunteers also participated in the Iowa Bicycle Coalition Expo where they shared stories and information about Our Volunteers and Our Mission.1654022_649408245119306_671096475_n During the expo caring individuals and generous bike clubs donated over $1500.00 to the Dream Team.

As part of the Route Announcement Party there was a silent auction in which several items donated by volunteers and RAGBRAI were included to raise money for Dream Team. As part of the silent auction we were able to raise another $1500.00.

In total, the Bike Expo and silent auctions during the weekend raised over $3000.00! It was a great weekend and these contributions will sponsor 3 kids in the 2014 Dream Team.

On stage from left to right: John Karras, co-founder of RAGBRAI along with Dream Team Volunteers Tyler Weig, Michael Buckley, James Hart, Robyn Mulcahy, Tim Mulcahy, John Washburn, Denise Beirma and Carylann Mucha.

crowdThe Dream Team gives a BIG THANK YOU to the Iowa Bicycle Coalition, RAGBRAI and all the volunteers who made the event possible!

Sponsors and donors provide 100% of the funding for these activities and without them it would not be possible. The support of the community, friends and family enable the Dream Team to empower young adults to set goals, work hard, and DREAM BIG! Your tax deductible contribution is used to support the goals of the youth and the program. Visit our Donate page for more information about supporting our organization.

 

Dream Team 2014 is Rolling Forward!

The Dream Team Leadership Committee is putting the finishing touches on our 2014 season. The 2014 Dream Team Calendar for this year has been published and we are currently recruiting new volunteers and riders.  If you would like to volunteer and have the opportunity to positively impact the life of a young person in your community, please Get Involved!

The Dream Team is a non profit program of the YMCA and our goals would not be possible without the support of our sponsors and donors. Please visit Donate to Dream Team and we hope we have your support in 2013.

Dream Team at the Greater Des Moines Volunteerism Fair

On Tuesday, September 24th, the Young Professionals Connection of Des Moines hosted its 5th annual Volunteerism Fair at Jasper Winery! It was a wonderful evening of food, fun and networking and the Dream Team was excited to take part!

YPC DreamTeam BoothThe goal of The 2013 Greater Des Moines Volunteerism Fair – sponsored by Bankers Trust – is to connect philanthropic-minded members of our community with 40+ nonprofit organizations who are actively seeking volunteers and support. By aligning these two groups in the same room, they hope to empower our community to do more in Des Moines!

Several mentors from the Dream Team staffed a booth to share their passion about mentoring young people in Des Moines and to encourage other young professionals to get involved with our wonderful organization.

 

“Every time you get on that bike, know that you are a winner” – Kittie Weston, Dream Team mentor

Michael Borts’ and Jordan Wolgamuth and their mentor Kittie Weston completed RAGBRAI on Saturday. As  first-year riders on the Dream Team, Michael and Jordan had many great memories this year on RAGBRAI and Dream Team; in her 34th year on RAGBRAI, Kittie says that all the  riders are winners, each and every time they pedal.   

Jordan Wolgamuth and Michael Borts

Jordan Wolgamuth and Michael Borts, first-year Dream Team members.

Kittie Weston, Dream Team mentor

How’ve you seen your mentees grow over the weeks of training?  They’ve become team members and gotten more involved in the activities that we do together on Dream Team as well. 

Have you done RAGBRAI before?  This is my 34th year doing RAGBRAI and my 4th year on the Dream Team.

If someone hasn’t heard of Dream Team before, how would you describe the experience? Dream Team is an opportunity for young adults to develop self-confidence, start a task and complete it, and understand the reward is participating in something and working towards its completion.

Favorite Dream Team experience thus far:  The best experience has been watching the young men accept the support we offer, seeing them take on leadership and knowing that they are enjoying themselves.

Essential RAGBRAI item?  Maintaining a positive attitude!

Piece of advice ?  Every time you get on that bike, know that you are a winner. I want the Dream Team to know that every time they pedal they are winners. The challenge is against themselves, not others. It’s not about beating someone else but facing the challenges along the way.

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First-year Dream Team rider: Michael Borts

What are you looking forward to most on RAGBRAI? I am used to doing a lot of things individually, but on RAGBRAI you really have to function as a group.

What is the coolest experience you’ve had so far on Dream Team?  The Dream Team trip to Sun Valley – at night, the city lights are gone you could see all the stars in the sky. In the city, you are lucky to see 2 or 3 stars at night.

What is the one essential item, other than the bike, that you are bringing with you on the trip? Books (Edgar Allen Poe and William James), a flashlight and a Japanese board game called ‘Go’.

Favorite quote: “If words are no better than silence, then one should remain silent.”

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First-year Dream Team rider: Jordan Wolgamuth

What is the first word that pops into you head when you think ‘Dream Team’? Family. All of us have gotten close over the months.

How have you seen yourself grow over the past few months? My endurance has definitely gotten better.

What is the coolest experience you’ve had so far on Dream Team?  While on RAGBRAI in Perry, we went down this huge slip and slide. Also, we saw someone on RAGBRAI on a unicycle.

What is the one essential item, other than the bike, that you are bringing with you on the trip? Sunglasses.

 Most unexpected thing about RAGBRAI: You’ve never seen this many people in one place; people are just going on for miles and miles!

Dream Team is Spontaneous, Inspiring and Full of Boundless Energy! – featuring mentor Sonja Ruhland and rider Anessa Perry

Throughout RAGBRAI this week we will feature some of our first-year Dream Team 2013 riders and their mentors. Mentor Sonja Ruhland participates in her 3rd full RAGBRAI and applauds the Team’s boundless energy; first-year rider Anessa Perry finishes RAGBRAI with an infectious smile and confidence while keeping things simple with pancakes and knee-high socks.

Anessa Perry - Dream Team member

First-year rider Anessa Perry takes a break after arriving in Des Moines while on RAGBRAI.

Interview with mentor Sonja Ruhland

How’ve you seen Anessa grow over the weeks of training? She’s grown socially. Anessa is now more likely to reach out to her peers. She seems more confident in new situations and more self-assured.

How does she motivate you? Anessa motivates me be continuing even when she wants to give up and her infectious smile!

How many years have you participated in RAGBRAI? This will be my 3rd full RAGBRAI, but training with the youth is so different. They can ride all day and still goof around all night whereas I’m exhausted. Their energy is endless!

If someone hasn’t heard of Dream Team before, how would you describe it in a sentence? An organization giving youth the tools and support to succeed-setting a goal in a safe and supportive environment.

Favorite Dream Team experience thus far: This past weekend in Sun Valley there were youth from several different ‘groups’ all together having fun.

What is your essential item, other than the bike, that you are bringing with you on the trip? A good pair of cycling shorts.

Favorite quote or advice? I have several: Live the life you’ve always dreamed. Be the change you want to see in the world. A verse from the Bible – What does the Lord require of you? Do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your God.

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Interview with Dream Team member Anessa Perry

What is the first word that pops into you head when you think ‘Dream Team’? Spontaneous and inspiring.

What are you looking forward to most RAGBRAI? Pancakes.

What is the coolest experience you’ve had so far on Dream Team? Riding with all the different mentors and you get to learn lots, especially with older mentors that know lots.

What’s it been like working with your mentor? Fun and educational

What is the one essential item that you are bringing with you on the trip? Knee high striped  socks.

Favorite song? Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke.