CELEBRATING 35 YEARS
I alone can not change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.
– Mother Teresa
DREAM’s long history of success is due to countless individuals who believe(d) in the importance and power of inclusive outdoor recreation. In 1985, a full five years before the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law, Dottie Maitland gathered Jane Lopp, Larry Dominick, Larry McMillian, Jim Oliverson, and others to bring about positive change in the Flathead Valley. Their passion for accessibility projects in the outdoor space took hold and it didn’t take long for local businesses and individual supporters to join the team. Around the same time, adaptive skiing was brought to Big Mountain, spearheaded by Dennis Jones and a crew of volunteer instructors. DREAM was well on its way to laying a very strong foundation that allowed for growth year after year. The organization is thriving today because of the many individuals who have supported our mission over the years. Thank you!
We’d be remiss to not give the biggest shout-out the hundreds, if not thousands, of adaptive athletes that have trusted DREAM to guide their outdoor experiences; Your strength, determination and drive to push limits have fueled our desire to constantly broaden our reach, improve our services, and deepen our impact. We will continue to work tirelessly in our community and beyond, to ensure outdoor recreation is available to all!
We hope you enjoy this walk down memory lane. If you have older photos or videos that you’d like to contribute, please contact us, we’d love to see them. Cheers to another 35 years of dreaming big!
We’ll add a video each day during our week-long celebration.
Become a DREAM Maker
Join our DREAM Maker club and help ensure we can serve our mission for another 35. You’ll receive special communications, invites to events, and more! To join, please choose the option for a recurring donation of $35/month in support of our 35 amazing years! Consistent giving allows us to place more focus on direct program services.
Our committed donor family helps us confidently soar to new heights. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Enjoy the stories submitted by members of our DREAM family
Tom Bundy – Former Board Member and current Volunteer
I retired to the Flathead Valley 10 years ago and got involved with Dream in 2012. It has been a great experience and I have met some fantastic people via my participation with the organization. I have volunteered with both the winter and summer sports programs, fundraising events, and spent three years as a Dream board member. I believe the Dream organization has been very successful in getting a large number of participants with disabilities to enjoy outdoor recreation. I have seen how the Dream programs bring giant smiles and inspire self-confidence. One of my favorite memories was watching a young boy go out for his first-ever tube ride behind a ski boat. He was extremely apprehensive and very worried about the water and his safety. When he returned to the dock, he was all smiles and exclaimed “We fell off the tube and we all survived”!
Happy 35th anniversary to Dream and many more years to come.
P.S. Enclosed is a photo of my Dream client Kela with one of our junior volunteers.
Bruce Gibson – Former ED and long-standing Volunteer Instructor
I think the person who first contacted me about helping to develop the DREAM organization was Doug McMillan. He and Dennis Jones lived on the same street just a block or so away from each other, on 8th or 9th St East close to Woodland Avenue. They were both disabled individuals who had once enjoyed Montana’s recreation opportunities before their disabilities and were working hard to ensure everyone had access.
I guess some stories are mostly lost, but”Thanks” for helping me to remember them and their passion to access Montana’s outdoors. That was a different world 35 years ago when words and ideas like accessibility were just entering our community consciousness. I remember the first time on Big Mountain with the Sit-Ski. We were on the Bunny Slope with Boharski. All the skiers stopped to watch, and Bill was trembling with excitement as he worked his way down the hill. It was really special!