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Black Tie International:
6th Annual Flower Empower Luncheon
Dream Foundation CEO, Kisa Heyer, Flower Empower Program Coordinator, Valerie Banks, 6th Annual Flower Empower Luncheon Committee Members, Alan Rose (who was also the events co-emcee), Lynette Hall, Robin Himovitz, Jodi Fishman-Osti, Melinda Rogers, and Steve Shulem. Photo by:  Kelly Sweda Photography

Dream Foundation CEO, Kisa Heyer, Flower Empower Program Coordinator, Valerie Banks, 6th Annual Flower Empower Luncheon Committee Members, Alan Rose (who was also the events co-emcee), Lynette Hall, Robin Himovitz, Jodi Fishman-Osti,
Melinda Rogers, and Steve Shulem
Photo by:  Kelly Sweda Photography


Community Gathered at Historic Bates Ranch House for
6th Annual Flower Empower Luncheon to Benefit Local
 Dream-Granting Program

Annual event celebrated volunteers who assemble and deliver more than 150

fresh bouquets each week throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties

Santa Barbara, Calif. – More than 200 local community members gathered yesterday, Thursday, May 19 for the 6th Annual Flower Empower Luncheon at the Historic Bates Ranch House overlooking Rincon Point.  This annual event raises funds and acknowledges the volunteers, sponsors and growers who make Dream Foundation’s Flower Empower program possible. The luncheon, emceed by long-time Dream Foundation supporter, Ivana Firestone and for the fifth year in a row, KEYT Channel 3’s Alan Rose, featured an exquisite ocean view, silent auction, a raffle that included a 7-day Holland America Line Caribbean cruise, delectable cuisine courtesy of Rincon Catering, and a fundraising activity that garnered $15,000 worth of generous donations in only five minutes!

Dream Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer Kisa Heyer honored and awarded the 2016 Flower Empower program sponsors: Diane & Tim Brown, Lisa & George Hagerman, Nissrin Mahmoud & Bob Fuladi, and Alison Wrigley Rusack & Geoffrey Rusack, whose donations will fund the program throughout the year. Also honored at the event was Yoze Van Wingerden, Grower of the Year; Jan & Jay Anderson, Volunteers of the Year; and Delaney Werner, Youth Volunteer of the Year.

“Flower Empower enriches our entire community,” Kisa Heyer says. “A gorgeous bouquet of fresh flowers, artisanal chocolates, homemade cookies and a thoughtful card can make an enormous difference to our neighbors in need. This simple gesture makes an incredible impact not only on those we serve but also to those who help make this program possible. There is nothing more amazing than a community coming together to help one another.”

Special to Dream Foundation’s hometown of Santa Barbara, Flower Empower is a volunteer-driven program that delivers hope and compassion—in the form of beautiful bouquets—to those in need. Several days each week, groups of volunteers prepare dozens of arrangements using donated flowers and make deliveries to hospitals, hospices, cancer centers, and personal residences. In addition to abundant bouquets, flower recipients enjoy fresh-baked cookies, fine chocolates, and cards hand made by local school children. Flower Empower receives no federal or state funding and relies solely on corporate and individual contributions and grants. For volunteer inquiries or to refer a flower recipient, contact


About Dream Foundation:

Dream Foundation, the only national dream-granting organization for terminally-ill adults, fulfills final Dreams that provide inspiration, comfort and closure at the end of life. With the support of a nationwide network of volunteers, hospices, health care organizations and committed donors, Dream Foundation has given life to nearly 25,000 final Dreams over the past two decades and has never turned down a qualified request. Dream Foundation does not receive any federal or state funding and relies solely on individual donations and corporate partnerships to fund its programs. The Foundation is proud to maintain Charity Navigator’s 4-star rating (its highest) for sound fiscal management ensuring its donors and partners that their investment will be used wisely. For more information, please visit


Gerard Mc Keon and Joyce Brooks.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

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