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makes a difference




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Education, Social

and Life Skills

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A day in the life at DREAMS

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One Community. Countless Dreams!

2013 Annual Report | Continuing The Dream

Our Mission

The mission of The Centre for DREAMS is to enhance the knowledge of our clients with developmental disabilities in a variety of settings, and to empower them to become independent, dignified and respected members within their community. We are dedicated to providing the opportunities and the means for our youth and adult members to focus on their abilities and not their disabilities through educational, social and life skill programs. We are one community with countless DREAMS.

Our Vision

Our vision at The Centre for Dreams is that all youth and adults living with a developmental disability have full access to community resources and social supports in an accessible and non-judgemental setting.

The Centre for Dreams will continue to provide high quality and innovative support services that responds to the changing needs of each individual. Continued emphasis will be placed on the provision of services through collaboration.

Education and community outreach will be integral to the services at The Centre for Dreams. Our presence in the community will provide a powerful voice on behalf of the individuals we serve. The Centre for Dreams will continue to be a leader in field education for high school, college and university students. We will expand our educational services to those who express an interest in learning about charitable organizations, particularly with individuals living with a developmental disability.

2013 Achievements

0 Active Members

Living their DREAMS!

0 Volunteer Hours

Time well spent

$ 0 K+ Dollars Raised Through

Donors & Events

0 Partners in Education

Hand's On Learning at Dreams


As a small staff we are very fortunate to have dedicated volunteers from the community who make up our committees. We are grateful to all of our volunteers for the expertise they bring and for the many hours they work on our behalf.

Gala Committee

  • Michelle Del Carmen, Chair
  • Elaine Vollett
  • Ming Cheung
  • Maria Youhanapour
  • Rose Romagnolo
  • Felicia Romagnolo
  • Christine Le Grice
  • Khiem Nyugen

Fundraising Committee

  • Chris Keeley
  • Terry Le Grice
  • Elaine Vollett

Members of the Board of Directors are recruited from the community and must bring skills and expertise that fill a need for The Centre for Dreams. Each candidate is typically first recommended by an existing Board Member or Senior Staff Member. The interview process includes a review of the candidate’s bio, current skill set and availability, as well as Police and reference checks. Board Members attend meetings every other month and Committee Meetings as scheduled.

Staff working directly with the members have education and training in working with persons with developmental disabilities. Further training is performed in-house covering such issues as Safety, Conflict Resolution, Quality Assurance, Crisis Prevention & Intervention ( CPI ), Snoezelen Room, and Touch Tank.  Regular staff meetings are held to discuss any issues with member behaviours, achievements and areas of improvement.

All Board Members, Staff and Volunteers are responsible for knowledge and comprehension of, and adherence to, our policies. As our members are considered part of the “vulnerable sector” of our community, we take care to ensure all persons working with our members are respectful of the members and have a clear understanding of how to create a safe, loving environment.

With over 50 student and community volunteers assisting with our programming, and over 40 volunteers helping to produce our fundraising Gala, we are able to keep our staffing budget as low as possible.

Under the direction of Felicia Romagnolo, Volunteer Coordinator, all student and community programming volunteers are screened and trained to work with our members.

Gala volunteers come to us with a variety of skills; some are experts at telling the story of our cause and in obtaining significant sponsorships, some spend hours collecting donated items for our auction and everyone assists in organizing all aspects of the Gala.

Our volunteers are awesome and essential to operations at The Centre for Dreams!

Message from the Chairman of the Board

Dear Members, Family of Members, Supporters and Volunteers:

The last year at Dreams has been truly remarkable.

Under the guidance of our staff and volunteers, led by Michelle Del Carmen, I am proud to share that our program delivers incredible value to our community and to the families of our members.

2013 was a milestone year for our Board of Directors as we all pulled together to successfully complete a 2 year audit of our financial statements and to put our organization on solid footing to receive a Trillium Grant which will make a huge impact on our program.

I am pleased to share that 85 cents on every dollar we raise goes directly back into the expenses required to run our daily program. This is an outstanding accomplishment that illustrates just how lean we run and how efficient we’ve become in directing funds back into what matters most.

I also feel compelled to share that we are a subsidized program. Not many people realize that 54% of the cost of our facility comes from Government support and from all our efforts to raise money. As such, our need continues for community and corporate support as every dollar is needed to keep our programming running.

There is no place like DREAMS.  We are all lucky to be a part of this great story. Together, our work makes a wonderful difference in the lives of our members – the greatest people you’ll ever meet.

I’d like to thank Elaine Vollett for her vision and continued guidance. The Board has my gratitude for all our late night meetings, thoughtful dialog and positive support as we move ever forward together. The staff who make DREAMS work everyday has my respect and admiration and of course, to the volunteers who give their time and energy to this wonderful cause – we couldn’t do it without you.

Accountability & Transparency

Revenue $510,344

Revenue Source Notes

While member fees make up the majority of our revenue sources, a higher percentage of the total cost per member to attend our programming is funded by The Centre for Dreams. Many of our members are fortunate to have government funding to assist them; the government funding shown as revenue above includes grants that assist us with staffing and administration. The total of contributions from the community include individual, corporate and association donations; while the revenue from fundraising events includes our Gala as well as third party hosted events.

Expenses $511,971

Expense Source Notes

Our philosophy is to never turn away someone who needs our programming. Therefore, our operating expenses include a significant contribution to programs. The program cost for each member is $70/day with only $35/member/day coming through member fees and government grants, the remaining $35/member/day covered by The Centre for Dreams. Our facility costs make up the next largest portion of our operating expenses. As is well understood, it takes money to raise money, and we do our best to keep our expense ratio within the CRA guidelines.

Please view our DRAFT 2013 Financial Statements Opens a pdf, right click to download