Have Dreams Happenings – October 2018




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Have Dreams Programs

scils-happeningsWith the fall program session well underway, all of our after-school, Life SCILS and employment training programs are in full swing, including our Have Dreams Academy.

Our Have Dreams Academy (HDA) offers adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder real workplace internships with soft skills training to foster the development of transferable skills needed for successful competitive employment.

The HDA program is making a huge impact on so many lives. Did you know that 100% of our HDA graduates who elected to pursue competitive employment were hired for jobs? Meet some of our HDA graduates and learn more about their journey to success here.




National Disability Awareness Month

david-happeningsIn recognition of National Disability Awareness Month, Have Dreams is proud to feature David, a Have Dreams Academy graduate, who recently secured employment following the completion of our employment training program.

David is a Filling Pharmacy Technician at a long-term care pharmacy, where he supports a team that processes and prepares medications for patients in nursing home facilities. In his role, David uses the skills he learned in our Have Dreams Academy employment training program, along with the pharmacy training he pursued, and he continues to receive praise from his supervisors. In fact, David was recently awarded Employee of the Month!  Congratulations David!

The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. This year’s theme is “America’s Workforce: Empowering All.”





Whether it was on the golf course, the race course, Chicago’s Lincoln Park pubs, or browsing the grocery aisles of a local retailer, our generous friends, families and community partners gave their time, talent and support through these great events!

Have Dreams Golf Classic

golf classic 2018-happeningsMaster of Ceremonies Troy Murray, of Chicago Blackhawks fame, and Have Dreams parent Sid Glenn shared inspirational stories and remarks with our golfers at the event dinner, following a great day of golf at Itasca Country Club on September 17. Highlights from the day included on-course challenges, an exciting putting competition, frozen custard treats for golfers from Culver’s, and many valuable auction items and raffles. Thank you to all of our sponsors, golfers, donors and wonderful golf committee for helping make our Have Dreams Golf Classic 2018 one of our most successful outings ever! Check out more about the event.






Last Day of Summer Quarterly Crawl

summer bar crawl-happeningsA special shout out to Rob Erickson and his Quarterly Crawl team for selecting Have Dreams as the beneficiary charity for their September 22nd Last Day of Summer Bar Crawl in Chicago’s Lincoln Park. Over 80 people attended this end of summer event featuring stops at Lincoln Park’s Tin Lizzie, HopCat, Galway Bay and Duffy’s Tavern and Grille, and lots of great prizes and giveaways. Quarterly Crawl, founded in 2017, is a “socially conscious initiative providing one-of-a-kind social experiences that benefit social causes.” Our thanks also to Have Dreams Young Professionals Board President Greg Lucchesi and members of Have Dreams Young Professionals Board for representing Have Dreams and bringing their crew of friends to the Summer Bar Crawl event benefiting Have Dreams.





Team Have Dreams at the Chicago Marathon

team have dreams-happeningsCongratulations to our incredible and mighty Team Have Dreams Runners, 21 strong that ran in this year’s Chicago Marathon on October 7th! We couldn’t be prouder of their commitment, dedication and achievement, and grateful for their countless hours of training and self-sacrifice to complete this inspirational event! Through their diligent efforts, they were able to raise over $33,000! Also, Have Dreams has participated in the Chicago Marathon since 2009, with our runners collectively raising over $300,000 since that first race! Our 2018 team includes Have Dreams staff members Chris Jones, running his third marathon as a member of Team Have Dreams, and Cathy McCarthy, running along with her husband James and son Ryan to benefit Have Dreams, as well as alumni staff member Scott Leo. Our thanks to all of our inspirational Team Have Dreams Runners who trained, fundraised and ran in this race or other 2018 area races to benefit Have Dreams, and our wonderful team coach, Jen Harrison, featured in this month’s Someone You Should Know profile below. Special thanks to running store Murphy’s Fit in Evanston, IL for the amazing dry-fit Team Have Dreams shirts.

Team Have Dreams will be gearing up for our 10th Anniversary as an Endurance Team Charity for the 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon and other races! If you would like to join the Dream Team, please click here for more information and how to sign up!


Fresh Thyme

fresh thymes-happeningsOur thanks to Fresh Thyme Farmers Market in River Forest for selecting Have Dreams as a charity recipient for their Giving Bag Program this summer. Have Dreams received a $1 donation when customers picked up a reusable Giving Bag that featured the Giving Tag at Fresh Thyme. Thanks for your support Fresh Thyme!







Have Dreams at Northwestern Homecoming Football Game

northwestern football-happenings

Thank you to Northwestern for selecting Have Dreams as their Community Group of the Game for their October 13th Homecoming Football game, and for their ongoing support to the autism community.  Congratulations to the Northwestern Wildcats for the 34-31 victory in overtime!

Highlights of the day included:

  • Free game tickets, food, hats and t-shirts provided to our past/current participants, families and staff
  • Being ushered down to the sidelines by a representative from Athletics for all of the pre-game activities
  • The opportunity for our group to watch the team practice prior to the game, and see the marching band and cheerleaders from the sidelines
  • Have Dreams being recognized at the game with our group photo projected on the big stadium screen.

Thank you Northwestern Athletics!



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Dreaming Big for Autism

dreaming big-happeningsMark your calendars for our Dreaming Big for Autism event on Saturday, April 27th, 2019!

Don’t miss this great evening at Pinstripes Northbrook, where “casual elegance meets sophisticated fun.” Join us for a night of delicious food, amazing auction items and raffles, plus bocce and bowling at this one-of-a-kind venue. You’ll also enjoy free parking and mobile bidding for this casual-attire event benefiting Have Dreams. Click here for a sponsorship form.






Giving Tuesday

Mark your calendar!

giving tuesday-happenings#GivingTuesday is just around the corner. On November 27, 2018, you can help provide opportunities to individuals with autism by making a donation to Have Dreams on this special day.

Be sure to check your mail for a special matching gift opportunity in November.








Jennifer Harrison

USAT Certified Triathlon Coach

JHC Triathlon Coaching; Team Have Dreams Coach

jenn harrison2-happeningsMeet Jen Harrison

Have Dreams began their partnership with elite endurance coach/athlete coach Jennifer Harrison in 2017 to help our Team Have Dreams runners train for the Chicago Marathon. Jennifer, one of the top coaches in the country, has been coaching and competing for over 20 years, and has led thousands of athletes and teams to the finish lines of marathons, triathlons and Ironman races, including the University of Illinois Triathlon Team.

How did you begin your partnership with Have Dreams and its endurance charity Team Have Dreams?

One of my athletes and friends, David Wallach, introduced me to Bobbi Goldman and David Murray at Team Have Dreams and I was excited about the opportunity to help the group from the beginning!


What is your role as an endurance coach for Team Have Dreams?

My job is to help the athletes get to the start line of the Chicago Marathon physically and mentally ready to run 26.2 miles. I write day to day workouts for the runners to follow. Included in this plan is the fueling needed for long runs and recovery as well as race day. I also make sure the athletes have someone to bounce questions off of and use as a resource in this training process.


What do you like most about being a coach for Team Have Dreams?

I love what Team Have Dreams does for their community of people with Autism. I love helping people reach their goals. There is not a better feeling than helping other people.


Tell us about your career as an endurance coach.

I left Corporate America in 1999/2000 and then got pregnant with twins. During this time, a Triathlon coach approached me to work for him and that was before people were making a living coaching Triathlon/Running. However, I made the jump and loved it. I bought that coach/group out in 2004 and started my own coaching business, JHC Triathlon Coaching (and Running), and have been coaching triathletes and runners full time since then. I currently have a full career with Charity groups (like Team Have Dreams), one on one athletes and the University of Illinois Triathlon Team.

What is your favorite type of post-run meal to have?

I usually cannot eat post-race, but when I do, it is always a Chocolate Blizzard from DQ with extra M&Ms and extra PB cups!


What would you say to someone who is thinking about running a marathon for the first time but wants to help out a charitable cause?

DO IT! Have a plan, find a group that you want to support and get your “VILLAGE” together. Get your family on board and friends to run with you and set the goal – Anyone can run a marathon with the right attitude and training plan!

Jen will once again be the official coach for Team Have Dreams and their 10th anniversary as a charity for the 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon! If you would like to join the Dream Team and have her help you cross the finish line, please click here for more information and how to sign up!