I Have a Dream Foundation returns to in-person events with July 19 golf tournament

BOULDER — The last major event conducted by the I Have a Dream Foundation of Boulder County — the Dream Maker Breakfast — occurred March 12, 2020, just one day before Colorado Gov. Jared Polis banned large gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, 16 months later, the organization — which provides support to under-resourced students and their families —  is getting back into the event business with the 18th Annual I Have a Dream Foundation Golf Tournament, scheduled for July 19 at the Omni Interlocken Golf Club at 800 Eldorado Blvd. in Broomfield.

The event will include a co-ed, 18-hole tournament, costing $225 per player or $900 for a foursome, and a nine-hole ladies tournament, costing $125 per player or $500 for a foursome.

And although certain elements of the tournament from past years will be missing — no after-tournament raffle, silent auction or awards — organizers are hoping for a successful foray back to in-person events.

“Events have been a very big part of fundraising for this organization for a very long time, and so that’s why this golf is such a big deal because it’s the first time we’re actually getting more than 10 people together to go sort of celebrate our impact and fundraise,” said Danielle Staunton, development director for the I Have a Dream Foundation of Boulder County.

But she said corporate sponsorships, which represent the bulk of the revenue that the organization derives from the tournament, will be down.

But it’s a step forward for the organization. The March 12, 2020, breakfast drew far fewer attendees than normal, and in the months that followed, the organization missed out on the golf tournament and another signature event — a fall luncheon.

The golf tournament typically raised $50,000 to $100,000. Even more damaging, the lack of a fall luncheon cost the organization about $2 million, including $1.8 million to support a new class, or cohort, and another $250,000 in other donations.

“We weren’t able to have any of those last year,” Staunton said.

The organization responded by cultivating relationships with donors via telephone or Zoom, “just to make sure everybody was OK,” Staunton said. “And that just gave us an opportunity to answer any questions and talk about what was going on.”

The organization also conducted a virtual Town Hall when the new CEO, Perla Delgado, joined in August.

“As she was coming in, we used that as an opportunity to reconnect as well,” Staunton said.

The Town Hall drew several hundred virtual attendees and was followed up by a listening tour — “Plåticas con Perla,” or “Conversations with Perla” — inviting stakeholders such as parents, students, partners and supporters to participate and ask questions about the organization and its role in the community.

“That was just another touchpoint that then, when we launched our end-of-year campaign, helped us bring in some of that revenue,” Staunton said.

The I Have a Dream Foundation provides a wide range of support for under-resourced students and their families within Boulder County, including academic, social and emotional support. The program supports 600 students and 1,100 families. Support can last from elementary school through college.

The organization’s staff of 35 is supplemented by hundreds of volunteers.

Staunton said that most people might think first of the academic support that the I Have a Dream Foundation provides to students.

“But another big piece of what we do is provide social and emotional support,” she said, “and doing that at a very young age. We actually talk about supporting students from first grade to first job. We do it at an early age so that we can inspire students to find their natural passions, their natural leadership abilities so that as they’re navigating through their educational journey, they are feeling empowered to reach whatever goals that they have set out.”

Support for students changed during the past year, including helping students connect electronically and shifting tutoring online.

Looking at the rest of 2021, Staunton remains unsure about whether the ever-important luncheon will occur.

“We didn’t have it in 2020, and we’re on the fence about 2021,” Staunton said. “It’s getting close enough that we just don’t feel like people are going to be ready for that type of experience.”

Weather makes it difficult to schedule such an event outside, she noted, and “we certainly don’t think that we’ll get 1,000 people in the room.”

An event with 200 is just as much work for organizers as one with 1,000 attendees, she said.

“We’re just not certain that people are going to feel comfortable going back into a room with that many people at the beginning of flu season. So it’s challenging for us to figure that out.”

In the meantime, the golf tournament will provide a test of the public’s willingness to attend such events.

Register for the I Have a Dream of Boulder County golf tournament here.

© 2021 BizWest Media LLC

BOULDER — The last major event conducted by the I Have a Dream Foundation of Boulder County — the Dream Maker Breakfast — occurred March 12, 2020, just one day before Colorado Gov. Jared Polis banned large gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, 16 months later, the organization — which provides support to under-resourced students and their families —  is getting back into the event business with the 18th Annual I Have a Dream Foundation Golf Tournament, scheduled for July 19 at the Omni Interlocken Golf Club at 800 Eldorado Blvd. in Broomfield.

The event will include a co-ed, 18-hole tournament, costing $225 per player or $900 for a foursome, and a nine-hole ladies tournament, costing $125 per player or $500 for a foursome.

And although certain elements of the tournament from past years will be missing — no after-tournament raffle, silent auction or awards — organizers are hoping for a successful foray back to in-person events.

“Events have been a very big part of fundraising for this organization for a very long time, and so that’s why this golf is such a big deal because it’s the first time we’re actually getting more than 10 people together to go sort of celebrate our impact and fundraise,” said Danielle Staunton, development director for the I Have a Dream Foundation of Boulder County.

But she said corporate sponsorships, which represent the bulk of the revenue that the organization derives from the tournament, will be down.

But it’s a step forward for the organization. The March 12,…