89-Year-Old Santa Rosa Woman’s Last Dance
National dream-granting organization for terminally-ill adults to help host 90th birthday dance party
Dream Foundation, the only national dream-granting organization for terminally-ill adults, is helping 89-year-old Elvida Gomes host a 90th birthday dance party for family and friends.
A Pomo tribe member, Elvida was born and raised in Ukiah, California but moved to the picturesque Northern California city of Santa Rosa 70 years ago. There, Elvida started a family, having seven children of her own. Today, she is the proud grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother of 106. Her big, beautiful family is her world, and she wants nothing more than to celebrate 90 years of life with those she loves.
Starting her life as a field worker, Elvida ultimately retired, just three years ago, after four decades as nutrition manager at the Sonoma County Indian Health Services. She loved her work and cared for her patients deeply. However, her real love has always been dance. “It is a part of who I am. In fact, it’s not something I choose to do – it is something that I have to do,” Elvida shared with Dream Foundation. “I spent my entire life performing around the country at blues festivals, clubs, casinos, everywhere.”
Diagnosed with terminal lymp nodes in the neck and lung cancer, Elvida has asked Dream Foundation for help in throwing a birthday bash with beloved family members and friends. But more than anything, Elvida wants to dance. “I am so looking forward to dancing at this party, as are my loved ones.”
Dream Foundation will assist with funds to cover expenses including an Italian feast from a local caterer and a special birthday cake to celebrate Elvida’s 90th year.
“The social worker told me that I am supposed to talk about the importance of this Dream to me in this letter to you, Elvida wrote. “The truth is that I can’t tell you how important it is. Having this party means the world to me.”
Elvida’s 90th birthday dance party will be held on February 19th in Santa Rosa.
About Dream Foundation:
Dream Foundation, the only national dream-granting organization for terminally-ill adults, fulfills final Dreams that provide inspiration, comfort and closure at the end of life. With the support of a nationwide network of volunteers, hospices, health care organizations and committed donors, Dream Foundation has given life to more than 33,000 final Dreams since being founded in 1994. Dream Foundation receives no state or federal funding – we rely solely on private donations. To support our mission, please visit DreamFoundation.org/donate.
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Through December 2022, the first $2,500 donated will be matched thanks to The Giving List’s novel matching program.
Supporting Our Veterans
In 2015, Dream Foundation launched Dreams for Veterans to support U.S. military veterans in partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Military veterans make up 20 percent of the Dreams served by the organization. CEO Kisa Heyer is keen to attract attention to the program and provide more support to people who served. “Our nation’s heroes sometimes face their toughest times when they come home,” she says. “Considering the sacrifices they made, it is so compelling and so worthwhile to be able to help them in their final days.”
Dream Foundation serves terminally-ill adults and their families by providing end-of-life Dreams that offer inspiration, comfort and closure.
Director of Development: Susie Willett
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Ivana and I have been proud supporters of Dream Foundation and its mission for over 10 years. We feel so blessed to be a small part of this incredibly compassionate community of volunteers and supporters that make the magic of Dreams come true. Our participation with Dream Foundation now includes our three children, who have learned valuable lessons about how to contribute with their talent, time, or treasure to this amazing organization.
Delivering Compassion with Flowers
Dream Foundation’s volunteer-driven Flower Empower program delivers floral bouquets, fresh-baked cookies, fine chocolates, and cards to friends, neighbors, loved ones, or anyone in need of cheer in Santa Barbara County. “It’s amazing to see the difference a bouquet can make,” says Heyer.
Located directly in front of the Hotel Californian, the Dream Plaza (a generous gift) is comprised of stones available to be dedicated with an elegant engraving. Whether making new memories or remembering past ones, the Dream Plaza will be a place to revisit for generations to come.
Louise and Tim Casey
Kate and Arthur Coppola
Brad Daugherty, Ambassador of Sports
Renee and Mark DePaco, Board Member
Michelle and Luke Ebbin, Past Board Member
Ivana and Andrew Firestone
Audrey and Tim Fisher
Roberta and Stan Fishman
J. Paul Gignac, Past Board Member
Robin and Roger Himovitz
Diane and Wells Hughes, Board Member
Sheryl and Rob Lowe, Ambassador
Dr. BJ Miller, MD, Honorary Medical Chair
Jillian and Pete Muller
Holly and Bob Murphy, Past Board Members
Sandi and Bill Nicholson,
Honorary Veterans Committee Members
David Nygren, PhD, Board Member
Hutton Parker Foundation
Priscilla Presley, Ambassador
Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree
Tina Schlieske and Justine Roddick,
Past Board Member
Shelley and Paul Schulte
Elizabeth and Kenny Slaught, Board Chair
Daryl Stegall, Board Secretary & John Stegall
Colleen Barnett-Taylor and Michael Taylor