What is the goal of the foundation?
The Garden of Dreams Foundation is a non-profit organization that works with The Madison Square Garden Company and MSG Networks, Inc. to positively impact the lives of children facing obstacles.The Foundation works with 28 partner organizations throughout the tri-state area, including hospitals, wish organizations and community-based organizations, to reach children who are facing challenges such as homelessness, extreme poverty, illness, and foster care.
Here is the thing about the Garden of Dreams Foundation: it works, it really works. Every action is met with an immediate reaction. Every Talent Show at Radio City Musical Hall, where our brave, tremendously-talented kids perform, is met with smiles. Every wish we help grant is met with tears of joy and most importantly, every experience we create allows kids facing unimaginable obstacles to just be kids and have fun.
What has your role been?
The two main events I am really involved with is our annual Talent Show at Radio City Music Hall & our Garden of Dreams Prom at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Two of our prom attendees even got a special Ambush Makeover with me on the Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda!
Perhaps the most powerful moments with the Foundation, for me, have been the conversations I have with the parents of kids who are fighting to get better and in some cases, fighting for their lives.
Every Spring we hold our Prom, for kids who heartbreakingly didn't make it to their own prom or who, devastatingly, won't make it to their prom. The event is filled with dancing, celebrities, a DJ, and tons of food and at the end of the night parents are allowed to peek inside for one second just to get a glimpse of the party.
At the end of one of the proms, one of the mothers, whose daughter was in a wheelchair, spotted a boy spinning her little girl around under the disco ball and lights. She came up to me sobbing and said, “Thank you so much for doing this. This is the first time, I can honestly say, I have seen her truly happy.” She continued to say, “…for that moment, I was happy. I can’t remember the last time I felt that feeling.” These are the moments I cherish: to make a mommy and daddy happy (even for a minute) is worth every second of my time.