Nonprofit working to build Dream Center
By Dawn Krebs
ST. LUCIE COUNTY - The dream for Tim O'Carroll began when he was 9 years old.
"In 1993, I lived in Pakistan for two years, while my dad was a director of refugee camps," he said.
While there, Mr. O'Carroll saw for the first time the needs of people.
Now, almost 20 years later, he is working on helping the needs of others on the Treasure Coast, from Indian River to Martin County.
"My wife, Audra, and I live here in Indian River Estates in St. Lucie County," Mr. O'Carroll said. "But we've helped all over the Treasure Coast."
Mr. O'Carroll is pastor of Discovery Church.
One of the groups' recent events included handing out more than 200 bags of school supplies to students at its back-to-school bash. They have also organized food drives and helped seniors.
But Mr. O'Carroll realizes there's much more to do in the community. To meet those needs, last year he founded the Discovery Dream Center.
The nonprofit came about when he and a group of like-minded volunteers traveled to Los Angeles to the L.A. Dream Center, a nonprofit with similar goals.
"After we toured it, we knew we wanted to use it as a model for the Treasure Coast," he said.
At this time, he is looking for property on U.S. 1. Once it's open, he is looking for the center to fill a need for both youth and seniors.
"It will feature after-school centers focused on art, music and athletics," he said. "But we're looking to help seniors, as well. There's a lack of community within the community, and people are living life alone. We want to bring a presence of community back."
Another event the nonprofit is involved with is the upcoming Thanksgiving dinner that Mustard Seed Ministries puts on every year.
"We will be partnering with them at their second location in Port St. Lucie," he said. "Being a part of what they've done is pretty awesome."
To finalize the dream of running a Dream Center, several fundraisers have been planned for the nonprofit.
"We have more than 100 volunteers working with us on this," he said. "I love challenging people to dream big and believe bigger."
The group recently held an auction on Sept. 8, and is now busy planning its golf tournament, set to take place at Gator Trace Golf and Country Club in Fort Pierce on Oct. 13. The tournament will cost $70 per player, or $240 for a foursome to play, and include breakfast, lunch, cart and green fees, gratuities, gift bags and door prizes. Sponsorships for holes and door prizes are still available.
Another tournament to assist the drive is a softball tournament to be held on Nov. 17 at the Sandhill Crane Park in Port St. Lucie. Cost to play is $200 per team.
Their final event is Dreamfest, to be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Port St. Lucie Civic Center in Port St. Lucie. This year, the group's focus will be on veterans, and the program will include a tribute to veterans, in addition to the art and craft vendors, children's events, live music and more. Sponsorships are available.
"We've got such momentum in this short amount of time." Mr. O'Carroll said. "It's all about the meeting of the minds, and helping our local community."
For more information, call Lela Abbate, director of the Dream Center, at (772) 777-5425, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go online to www.discoverydreamcenter.com.