Providing the Opportunity to Be “First”

A Board Member’s Perspective

Growing up my mother was a special needs teacher.  In the afternoons after school, I would often go to her school and wait for her to complete her day.  During those years I interacted with many children my age that had various types of special needs and developmental disabilities.  We laughed and played together during that time and I was always struck by how open, loving and accepting those children were to other people.  At their core, those kids just wanted to love others and be loved.  I also realized that those kids loved to play and have others play with them.  Almost all of them loved sports, whether it was kickball, basketball, tee ball, etc. However, I realized over the years that they were not the type of children who would ever be picked “first” for a game on the playground. That may be why they so enjoyed the opportunity to just play those games anytime someone was available to play with them.

Fast forward many years, I married the love of my life, Terri-Lynn.  Terri-Lynn has devoted her life and career to working with people with developmental disabilities at InReach.  Through her, I get the opportunity to continue to volunteer and interact with folks that love and appreciate the love from others.  In addition, our daughter Zoe is hoping to study special education in college.  So for my entire life and likely for the foreseeable future, my life has been and will be blessed by people with special needs and developmental disabilities.

When Brandon and Elizabeth Lindsey founded Dream On 3, our family was in! We began financially contributing to Dream On 3 because we embraced the mission and honestly loved seeing the stories that impacted the lives of so many folks with developmental disabilities. For once in their lives, these folks are able to be the star of their own sports dream and it provides a moment that they will remember the rest of their lives. That is what makes Dream On 3 so special. Dream On 3 gives them the opportunity to finally be “first” and it is long overdue. My hope is to contribute in whatever way possible to help to continue these dream experiences. The duration of a dream is brief, but the impact is endless!

Contributed by:
Dale Fite, President & CEO
Tyler 2 Construction, Inc.