Story & Photography by Amber Storey-Knight
The Carl Perkins Civic Center was host to the 5th annual Night of the Caribbean, the Dream Center’s largest fundraiser of the year. About 400 people attended the event, enjoying music from Scott Myatt and Steve Short and delicious food from Coyote Blues. They also had a silent auction and an art display managed by Frank Poppelaars from C-MACC.
There were numerous awards given to deserving individuals, most of whom donate a lot of time volunteering at the Dream Center. The program included emotional testimonies and success stories from women who had been to the Dream Center, citing how the Center had helped them get back on their feet.
The keynote speaker was Gigi Graham, daughter of evangelist Billy Graham. She gave an emotionally charged speech heralding the Dream Center for its excellent work.
The Dream Center is an emergency shelter for women and women with children. Gail Gustafson, executive director of the center, said “the Dream Center houses the women and children, feeds them and helps them get jobs and education. The aim is to get the women to be independent, gain confidence in themselves and become self-sufficient”.
Kristi Turnbow, Board President, said the center houses about 55 to 65 people every day, including children, and they always need donations. In addition to money, the center also accepts canned foods, clothing and other household necessities.