Our Mission: To provide opportunities for individuals with significant intellectual and/or developmental disabilities to learn life skills and build pride in a nurturing environment.
Merriam-Webster defines a chrysalis as “a hard case that protects a moth or butterfly while it is turning in to an adult”. We like to think of our organization as a type of chrysalis. We provide a safe loving atmosphere where individuals can grow, become more self-confident, develop self-esteem, and transform into beautiful butterflies.
Butterfly Dreams is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which provides opportunities for Differently-abled individuals with significant intellectual and/or developmental delays to reach their individual goals and enhance their current life skills by providing a safe platform where each person can embrace courage, develop life-long relationships and openly communicate their passions to others.
Our children and adults participate in numerous activities throughout the year, and an annual state pageant. Currently, our events are open to residents of Illinois and Missouri, with plans to branch out across America. Our goal is to give everyone a safe encouraging environment, where they can make friends, volunteer in their communities, spread the message of inclusion, and help break down the barriers fueled by fear of the unknown and misunderstood.
The annual pageant allows each participant an opportunity to showcase their abilities. The stage is their arena which provides a chance for them to fly free and not be defined by their disability. From the moment the curtain opens, until the last curtain call, there are plenty of smiles, laughter and tears of pride and joy from all.
The evening begins with an optional and non-judged talent showcase where medals are given as an accolade for those who embrace the courage to overcome their fears. During the main event, the boys/men are given crowns fit for a prince and the girls/women are presented with trophies and tiaras fit for a princess, with one young lady in each division being chosen as that representative Queen for that year. In short each participant will be provided a “Miss or Mr. America” type moment in front of hundreds of friends, families, co-workers, and community members.
Whether you are a butterfly celebrating your victory on stage, a PAL (Person Assisting with Love) waiting in the wings to anxiously hug your butterfly when they run off stage from their victory, an audience member watching the show, or a judge who is lucky enough to meet each butterfly one on one, every heart is touched and lifted during this magical evening.
All event and venue information can be found on this website and through our social feeds (Facebook and Twitter). All participants girls and guys, must be residents of the state of the pageant where they apply, and must have legally recognized paperwork in support of their disability to be eligible for participation. There is never an entry fee to participate. Rather, each participant/escort is asked to donate one toy to Toys for Tots.
In the words of Kim Gravel, “The crown is not the goal. The crown is the result of achieving the goal.”