Our Blog

Isaac — Age 6

Isaac copyOn Monday, Day Dreams awarded a scholarship to Isaac so he can take piano lessons! Isaac is 6 and has three younger siblings who he can’t wait to play the piano for!

So far he knows the Darth Vader theme song (his mom taught him!) but now he’s hoping to learn some other themes, specifically the Avenger’s movie theme song. Speaking of the Avengers – watching the first movie is one of his favorite things to do (but he said he doesn’t watch the scary parts) and he likes to watch Arizona basketball because his family recently moved here from there.

Isaac is an active 2nd grader who’s favorite subject in school is P.E. His favorite colors are red and blue and he made sure to write his name on the Day Dreams blackboard in both colors!!

We are so excited to be able to help Isaac achieve his dream of playing the piano when he grows up and we can’t wait to hear him play the Avengers song!

Jacob — Age 7

JacobThe Day Dreams Foundation happily awarded a scholarship to Jake to participate in drum lessons for Access Percussion. Jake is an energetic 7 year old who brought two of his favorite cars with him to his scholarship meeting. Jake said that he loves drumming and hopes to one day play for the youth choir at his church.

Jake said he was proud that he recently received 100% on a math test, but said that his favorite thing to do at school is play. Jake said that he loves magic tricks and knows how to do a couple awesome ones. When he grows up he would like to one day be a police officer and told me his role model is his teacher because she’s really cool.
Jake and I were talking about all the great things he likes to do, and he told me his favorite thing is to get meatballs in his tum tum.
Jake is an amazing young man and Day Dreams is so happy to help him pursue his dreams of playing the drums for his youth choir one day!

A Night Under the Stars Auction Preview

There will be a few more items added before our event on June 4! Remember to purchase your tickets by Tuesday, May 31 HERE.

Golf for Four at Country Club of Missouri

Enjoy a round of golf for four people with carts at the beautiful Country Club of Missouri! Tee times are subject to availability and will not be available on Mondays, Thursdays, Saturday mornings or Sunday mornings. Certificate expires May 31, 2017.

Donated by Country Club of Missouri

Kansas City Chiefs Package

The ultimate package for the Chiefs fan in your life! The jersey is autographed by current Kansas City Chiefs quarterback, Alex Smith, who has led the Chiefs to a winning record in each of his first three years, including two playoff appearances. Package also includes a limited edition photo of Chiefs Hall of Famer, Will Shields, an item that can only be obtained from the Chiefs. Finally, you will also receive 2 tickets to see the Chiefs play a home game in 2016.

Donated by Alex and Elizabeth Smith, Katie Bradley and the Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Royals Tickets and Championship DVD

Watch the 2015 World Series Champion Kansas City Royals live in action at Kauffman stadium this year, and then watch KC win the 2015 World Series all over again! This official film narrated by Paul Rudd contains highlights, exclusive access and interviews, and breathtaking footage of the World Series 2015. Also regular season highlights and a view of the World Series parade. Ticket vouchers are for Hy-Vee View seats and are only valid for a Monday-Thursday 2016 regular season home game. Excludes June 27-28 games and August 29-31 games.

Donated by the Kansas City Royals and Andy and Jenny Bradley

Kansas City Royals vs. Texas Rangers — Saturday, July 23

Enjoy a night out at the ball game to see two 2015 playoff teams compete on Saturday, July 23. Game is currently scheduled for 6:15 p.m. Includes two club level seats in section 311, row H.

Donated by Julie Shull

Pedro Strop Autographed Photo

Take home this Chicago Cubs keepsake for that crazy Cubs fan you know. Photo is autographed by Cubs relief pitcher, Pedro Strop, a key contributor to the Cubs 2015 playoff team and current member of the 1st National League Central place team.

Donated by the Chicago Cubs

Cardinals vs. Cubs Getaway Weekend

The perfect weekend for any Cardinals OR Cubs fan! See the Cardinals play the Cubs on Saturday, September 24 at Wrigley Field in Chicago with two tickets in section 502, row 2. Game is scheduled for 1:20 p.m. and is one of the last series of the regular season, so playoff spots will be on the line! This package also includes a $50 gift card to Casey’s General Store for gas, and a two-night stay at The Hotel Blake, a beautiful 4-star hotel right in downtown Chicago! Hotel stay is for Friday, September 23 and Saturday, September 24.

Donated by Kaye Huch and Casey’s General Store

St. Louis Cardinals Fan Package

Watch the Cardinals in action at Busch Stadium with two ticket vouchers, good for a Monday-Thursday 2016 home game. Package also includes a Cardinals throw blanket, bobblehead, program and a limited edition Yadier Molina print by artist Matthew Kammerer.

Donated by Andrew Dean, the St. Louis Cardinals and Matthew Kammerer

City of Columbia Golf Package

Enjoy four rounds of golf with a cart at either Lake of the Woods Golf Course or L.A. Nickell Golf Course. Bring three friends, or play four rounds yourself! Certificate is valid anytime Monday-Friday or after 10:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Donated by City of Columbia Parks and Recreation

Mizzou Football vs. Delaware State

Watch the Tigers and new Coach Barry Odom take on the Hornets of Delaware State at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, September 24. The two tickets are in the lower bowl in section RR on the west side of the stadium.

Donated by Joe Bradley and Ellen Huch

My First Bucket of Sports Stuff

This bucket contains a soccer ball, a football, a basketball, a Frisbee, a baseball bat and ball, tennis balls, a Minion’s kite, sunflower seeds and Gatorade.

Donated by Andy and Jenny Bradley

Les Bourgeois Vineyards

Experience the breathtaking, panoramic view from the deck at Les Bourgeois Vineyards that will create the perfect backdrop for your next special occasion. The Blufftop Bistro offers a full, seasonal menu during lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. Package includes reserved space on the deck for your group as well as a certificate for food or wine.

Donated by Tia Wood and Les Bourgeois Vineyards

Father’s Day Reading Material Basket

This basket contains one Large Awesome Dad t-shirt and four great Children’s books about dads. Included are these titles: Dad’s First Day, Because I’m Your Dad, Tad and Dad, and Froggy’s Day with Dad.

Donated by Andy and Jenny Bradley

Pete the Cat Basket

This basket contains a stuffed Pete the cat, a Pete puppet pen, and three of Pete’s most famous books and a bubble wand.

Donated by Andy and Jenny Bradley

Raising Cane Cooler Basket

This cooler contains a keychain, a stuffed bear, chapstick, a koozie and (2) vox combo coupons. Each box combo has four chicken fingers, Texas toast, fries, coleslaw and a regular drink. Locations in St. Louis and coming soon to Kansas City.

Donated by Andy and Jenny Bradley

Dinner for Four at Country Club of Missouri

Dine in elegance at the recently renovated Country Club of Missouri clubhouse with three other friends. Certificate expires on May 31, 2017 and excludes alcohol.

Donated by the Country Club of Missouri

St. Louis Adventures Getaway

Spend a day in St. Louis and take it some awesome tourist attractions! This package includes four passes for tram tours to the top of Gateway Arch, as well as four passes to one of the family attractions at Missouri Botanical Gardens, the Butterfly House, or Shaw Nature Reserve.

Donated by Ellen Huch

Panera Bread for a Year

Enjoy one freshly-baked loaf of bread from Panera every month for a year! Certificate expires December 2017.

Donated by Panera Bread

Buchroeder’s Jewelers Gift Certificate

Use this $250 gift certificate to purchase a beautiful set of jewelry for your loved one at Columbia’s Buchroeder’s Jewelers or apply it to a larger purchase (like an engagement ring!)

Donated by Buchroeder’s Jewelers

Tour of ABC17 Studio

Go behind the scenes of the ABC17 TV studio with a few of your friends or family members! Your tour will be led by your choice of Sports Director Austin Kim, or reporter Sara Maslar-Donar.

Donated by ABC17

Wine Carafe Set with Four Tumblers

Serve your wine in style with this beautiful set from Louisville Stoneware.

Donated by Nancy Mertzlufft

Vintage Cookie Jar

It will be even harder to keep your hands out of the cookie jar when it looks this cool! This pineapple shaped vintage cookie jar will look great on any counter.

Donated by Nancy Mertzlufft

Vintage Water Pitcher

This beautifully crafted pitcher can be used to serve any number of your favorite beverages. 

Donated by Nancy Mertzlufft

Glass Wine Carafe

Serve wine at your dinner parties in this beautiful glass carafe!

Donated by Nancy Mertzlufft

Art Quilt

Take home this beautiful piece created by local fiber artist, Rebecca Douglass. Working with cloth she has painted, stamped and stenciled, a well as commercial cloth, Rebecca creates landscapes with the look of an oil painting, but rooted in the tradition of quilting. You can find her work for sale at Bluestem Missouri Craft Studio in Columbia.

Donated by Rebecca Douglass

































Andrew — Age 12

AndrewAndrew, 12, received a scholarship to participate in Super Smash Bros Gaming Camp this summer through the Columbia Career Center. Andrew loves playing video games and would like to pursue designing them when he grows up. When talking about why he is excited about camp this summer, Andrew told me “interacting with characters on screen can be very cool.” He pointed out “with movies and books you don’t get to decide what happens, but in video games you have more freedom and creativity.” Andrew’s favorite subject in school is band. Also, special things about Andrew: he has an especially good memory and enjoys keeping up with politics. Some goals Andrew has for this summer are to communicate better with people and make new friends at camp. He also would like to go outside more- to bike and play soccer with his friends.

Don — Age 16

13268401_1054507084615636_1608139279026917642_o“Football is my lifesaver…” 16 year-old Don has big plans for his future, including college and the NFL. Football has been a huge part of his life and he’s excited to continue with Rockbridge High School’s summer camp. Don sees football as a way to develop discipline, something that will help with his academic goals. Those who know Don well can attest to his commitment to being a well-rounded individual both on and off the field. Respecting his family, surrounding himself with friends who set good examples, and saving money are all at the top of his priority list. Look for Don on the field this fall as he pursues a Division I scholarship!

Big News — We’re Opening an Office!

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For a few months now, it’s been a hobby of mine to browse Craigslist and other sites from time to time, seeing if an amazing deal on great office space for the Day Dreams Foundation ever catches my eye. Well – a few weeks ago I found something! I went and checked it out, and the space was absolutely perfect for what we needed.

So, with that being said… on May 15, we will be moving into a permanent office space located at 200 E. Walnut #4, in the basement of the Mid America Mortgage building! The building is highly visible at the corner of Walnut and Providence, right next to Olive Cafe and across from Central Bank of Boone County. The office space is 588 square feet, with a board room, two offices and copy room. It even came with the board room table, chairs, desks and file cabinets that we needed! It was truly an opportunity too good to pass up. We will be able to place a sign in the window next to the side entrance to our office, off Walnut, which will increase our visibility in the community.

More than anything though, this office space will allow us to meet with families to award scholarships and go over our scholarship expectations and ground rules in a more private setting (rather than at the library). The central location in the city will be easily accessible for our families and they will be able to drop off applications and other forms in person. This office will also provide our board members and volunteers a central space to work and meet. In the near future, we would also like to bring on some interns, so they can also have work space here. This will also allow us storage space for our growing collection of fundraiser-related supplies and t-shirts.

This is truly a game changer for our organization. In the beginning, the office will likely be open less than 15 hours per week, but that may grow with time as our organization continues to grow. We will update you once those hours are finalized. We will also likely be changing phone numbers to a landline office phone (rather than calls routed to my personal cell phone).

Thank you to everyone who made this big step forward possible. We are so excited! Hopefully we can have you all by for an open house soon.

All my best,

Joe Bradley, Founder and President

Nina, Neela, Marcus and Nyah

IMG_4900I want to introduce you to four awesome Day Dreams Kids that are all from the same family — Nyah, Marcus, Neela and Nina. We first awarded these kids scholarships last year, but renewed their scholarships again this year after they each completed their community service hours and we received word from their coaches/instructors and teachers that they had done their best in their activity and in the classroom.

NinaNina, 4, received funding to participate in School of Missouri Contemporary Ballet classes this summer, as well as an Access Arts Summer Camp and summing lessons through MizzouRec. Nina loves the water and enjoys dance tremendously. She’s very excited to learn how to swim (although she demonstrated for me how long she could hold her breath – pretty impressive!), as well as continue with ballet. She loves sparkly blue and wants to be a lawyer when she grows up! She also really like Beyonce. Her mom said that something special about Nina is that she “has a great smile, is very positive and polite, and can roll with it.” Some goals Nina has for this year are to learn her letters and count to 100. She wants to be able to hold her breather under water and leaner different ballet positions. She wants to become a better listener, and go to sleep on time.

NeelaNeela, 8, received a scholarship to attend YMCA Camp Lakewood in Potosi, Missouri. She said she loves camp because it’s “really fun and cool.” Her favorite parts are going swimming, learning to do lots of art and riding horses. Her favorites include the color pink, reading, Ariana Grande, and playing dolls. Neela’s mom said the she is “very much about family. She is very loyal to her siblings.” In the classroom, Neela wants to be more proficient in reading and math. She would also like to become more independent at camp this year, and be a helpful friend. For health goals, she wants to try to get enough sleep and eat her vegetables.

MarcusMarcus (who goes by MJ), 9, will be playing for the Mid MO Elite basketball team this year. MJ really like playing basketball because he said he has some great coaches and teammates. He would like to play in the NBA someday and his role model is Steph Curry. I asked him about Steph’s chances to make it back from his injury for the championship, and he didn’t think it was likely. MJ’s favorite color is green and his favorite subject in school is reading. Something special about him is that he’s really good at math. A few goals that MJ has are to work on his handwriting, make 50 jump shots, help out his community, and not eat out as much. You and me both, kid.

NyahNyah, 13, received a scholarship to attend the WashU Summer Challenge camp at Washington University in St. Louis this summer. As the oldest child, Nyah partners up with Nina to help her out, and also took charge in arranging her siblings for the group photo. She wants to participate in the Summer Challenge because “Many people that go there end up being very successful.” She’s most excited to learn about anatomy at the camp. Favorites include the color purple, English class and dancing. She would like to be a dancer when she grows up and looks up to Misty Copeland and her mom. Nyah would like to raise her grades in Spanish and English class next year, become a strong learner at camp and get to know some new people at WashU. She also has goals to help her mom out more with her siblings and to get more sleep and eat more salad.

Good luck to these awesome kids this summer with their activities!

Tickets available for A Night Under the Stars Gala


Please join us for A Night Under the Stars Gala, benefitting the Day Dreams Foundation at the brand new Champagne Ballroom. The evening will include dinner, award presentations, guest speakers and live and silent auction items. A cash bar will be available. Doors and the silent auction will start at 5:30 p.m. with dinner served at 7:00 p.m. Please purchase your tickets for $65 each in advance by May 31. A reserved table of 8 can be purchased for $500. Proceeds will go toward our scholarship programs, including our extracurricular scholarships and our new Jenny Bradley College Scholarship.

We are still in need of sponsorships and auction items! Please contact joe@daydreamsfoundation.org. For more information, please see our Sponsorship Form.

To purchase tickets online, please CLICK HERE!

Buy Shakespeare’s Frozen Pizzas and Help Send Aiyanna to Dance in New York!


We are so thrilled to announce that 11-year-old Aiyanna, a Day Dreams Foundation scholarship recipient, was informed last week that she was accepted into the Dance Theatre of Harlem Summer Intensive in New York. Out of over 800 students nationally and internationally who auditioned, Aiyanna was one of the chosen few. Aiyanna will have expenses in travel, tuition, room and board during this amazing journey so her family is fundraising to help make this trip possible. The Day Dreams Foundation has a $500 maximum scholarship per year, per child. So, we are trying to help her with the fundraising she is doing on her own! Her family is selling frozen pizzas from Shakespeare’s to try to put a dent in the $4,000 needed for the trip. They have set a goal of 200 pizzas. Let’s help them get there! Aiyanna will get $5 for each pizza sold.

Here’s a few things to know about the fundraiser:

  • Please make checks payable to: Phyllis Williams (Aiyanna’s mom)
  • You can turn in checks or cash to any Day Dreams Foundation board member and we’ll get it to Aiyanna’s mom.
  • Cost per pizza: $12
  • Payment & Orders must be received by: Wednesday, March 9, 2016
  • Frozen Pizza will be delivered: Thursday, March 24, 2016

To order a pizza, please fill out this Google form:

PHOTO GALLERY: Day Dreams Foundation hosts trivia night

The Day Dreams Foundation hosted its second annual trivia night fundraiser Friday at the Riechmann Pavilion in Stephens Lake Park. The foundation, started in 2013 by MU alumnus Joe Bradley, raises money to allow children from low-income backgrounds to participate in extracurricular activities such as sports or theater.

View a photo gallery from Columbia Missourian photographer Michael Cali HERE.

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