The Dream Come True Foundation of South Texas will hold its third annual “Flavors of South Texas” food and wine sampling event to raise funds for the organization as it helps driven, but poverty-stricken, individuals achieve their dreams.
“This is our big fundraiser for the year,” event chair Judy Colston said. “Expect a lot of fun and fellowship.”
The event allows attendees to sample food and drinks from a variety of local restaurants and businesses, with ticket sales and other monetary donations directly benefiting the organization.
Last year’s fundraiser brought in hundreds of attendees from Kingsville and surrounding communities.
“We’re expecting more (attendees) this year,” Colston said.
Colston said the event is also beneficial in giving exposure to the participating businesses and restaurants.
“We have a lot of restaurants that I didn’t even know that cater,” Colston said. “And (our family) has used several of them ourselves this year.”
“With Flavors of South Texas, we are introducing a lot of these restaurants to the public,” she added. “We have some new businesses and some that have been around forever, and (with this event) everybody can get a chance to see what’s here in town that they don’t know or maybe haven’t tried.”
Started in 2015, the Dream Come True Foundation of South Texas, or DCTF-ST, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that serves residents in Kleberg, Kenedy, Brooks and Jim Wells counties. Its parent organization, the Dream Come True Foundation, was founded in 2008 in Austin.
The DCTF-ST provides financial assistance, educational opportunities, access to community partners and mentoring to individuals with well-defined goals but who were held back from pursuing them because of economic hardship.
“For one reason or another, they haven’t really had the chance that a lot of us have had to get a college education or to lift themselves up,” Colston said. “Some of them were born into poverty or had a bad break, so this is a second chance for them.”
Because of the hands-on role that DCTF-ST takes in the lives of the participants, called “dream achievers,” the foundation has a very rigorous application process.
“We like to find those who are kind of already on their way, but just need a little help,” Colston said. “Somebody who isn’t just looking for a handout. They really, really want to make their lives better for them and their family.”
After a candidate fills out an application form on the foundation’s website, along with another form filled out by a reference for the candidate, the information goes to a selection committee for processing.
If selected, the candidate then meets for an interview with the selection committee, followed by a final interview with the foundation’s full board of directors.
Once the candidate is in the program, the foundation assists the dream achiever in all aspects of their lives, from personal to professional, to help them to eventually stand on their own.
The DCTF-ST is currently assisting three dream achievers, including Riviera native and Texas A&M University-Kingsville electrical engineering student Kevin Jimenez, East Texas Baptist School nursing student Katarina Tovar of Kingsville and Alice-born Justin Salinas, who is attending Coastal Bend College-Kingsville as a computer information technology student.
“And we have two more (potential dream achievers) that our review board is going to look at,” Colston said.
The organization is also looking for more local mentors for its dream achievers.
“We want somebody who just wants to help,” Colston said. “Somebody that’s already achieved their goal and wants to give back. It’s a very involved process, but what they are doing will change someone’s life for the better.”
The third annual “Flavors of South Texas” will be held Friday, Sept. 27, from 6-8 p.m. at the Henrietta Memorial Center, located at 405 N. 6th St. in Kingsville.
Tickets are available for $30 at the door, or for $25 pre-sale at Discount Liquor, located at the intersection of 14th St. and Santa Gertrudis Blvd., and at Kleberg Bank, located at 100 E. Kleberg Ave.
Anthony Ruiz can be contacted at email@example.com or (361) 221-0251.