Our 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization provides opportunities for girls, women, boys and men with significant intellectual and/or developmental disabilities to participate in yearly activities and an annual pageant. We strive to give every participant their moment in the spotlight where they can showcase their abilities and not be defined by their disabilities. Every participant receives an award just for embracing courage and stepping on to the stage. In short each participant will be provided that “Miss or Mr. America” moment in front of friends, family and their neighborhood.
Our vision involves support from the community. A young man or woman, (known as a Pageant PAL- “person assisting with love”) is assigned to each participant (male and female), to escort them throughout all of the pageant events. These young ladies and gentlemen come from the local high schools and colleges, with many majoring in Special Education, Speech Pathology, Occupation Therapy or the like. This event provides the students with real world experience in their chosen field, along with promoting inclusion and acceptance. We have seen our participants and PALs develop friendships that extend beyond the borders of this event.
We also want our participants to realize their value in the community that supports them, and to appreciate the blessings they truly have been given. To expand on this idea, instead of an entry fee, each participant is asked to bring a new unwrapped toy to donate to the Marines “Toys for Tots” mission. This type of giving brings a whole new awareness of helping others that are less fortunate than themselves.
We presently host one pageant per year in Missouri and Illinois. Inaugural pageants will be held this year in Oklahoma, and Tennessee. We also involve our participants in other community events and appearances such as baseball games, grand openings, and parades, and encourage them to give back by volunteering their time at various charities and events in each state.
Simply put, Butterfly Dreams is more than a pageant. It”s a journey of learning life skills and developing pride in self.
For sponsorship opportunities please contact our Central Office.