The DreamShip, a hot air balloon made from the dreams of the children of fallen and disabled military heroes, features illustrations by Folds of Honor Scholarship recipients, that show what they hope to be when they grow up. The DreamShip represents the dreams of these special children taking flight.
The project, developed by The Rite Aid Foundation and KidCents in partnership with Folds of Honor, is meant to nurture the dreams of children who have suffered devastating losses and disappointment and to help them come true.
The Rite Aid Foundation established KidCents to ensure the health and well-being of children in communities across the country. Folds of Honor, a nonprofit organization that strives to provide educational scholarships to the families of fallen or disabled military heroes, is one of the nearly 450 nonprofit organizations supported by the foundation. The motto of Folds of Honor illustrates their mission: Honor their sacrifice. Educate their legacy.
The DreamShip, which took its inaugural flight last September in Jersey City, New Jersey, stands eight stories tall and is composed of more than 400 fabric panels, 130 of which feature illustrations of the dreams of Folds of Honor scholarship recipients.
The DreamShip now travels the country as a symbol of the commitment made by the organization, its partners, and donors, to pay tribute to the nation’s fallen and disabled service members, as well as their families.
“From here on out, with every launch, the DreamShip will lift up the dreams of children helped by Folds of Honor, both physically and metaphorically,” said Rite Aid CEO of stores, President of Rite Aid Corporation and President of The Rite Aid Foundation Ken Martindale. “The Rite Aid Foundation could not envision a better way to show our support of Folds of Honor, our veterans, and their children.”
Every DreamShip appearance includes special exhibits that hope to raise awareness and funds for Folds of Honor, including a virtual reality hot air balloon ride and a virtual reality art station, where children can use Tilt Brush technology to illustrate their dreams. The events will also show videos of the children helped by Folds of Honor, sell Folds of Honor merchandise and provide information on how to support the organization.
“We cannot think of a better way to showcase the stories and dreams of our scholarship recipients than to lift them up with the DreamShip for the world to see,” said Folds of Honor Founder Major Dan Rooney. “Folds of Honor is so fortunate to partner with The Rite Aid Foundation in our mission to educate the legacy of our fallen and disabled service members. We look forward to following the DreamShip on its journey across the country and sharing the stories of our deserving scholarship recipients.”
The upcoming DreamShip launches include the Jackson Hot Air Jubilee in Jackson, MI, from July 20 to July 22. The jubilee gathers thousands of ballooning enthusiasts every year and showcases dozens of balloons from across the country at Ella Sharp Park. The event also includes craft booths, the Kids Kingdom, shop vendors, an auto show, and much more.
The DreamShip will also be featured at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival in Canton, OH, from July 27 to July 28. The event celebrates the induction of new enshrinees, encourages support for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Museum and promotes the spirit of the local community and its citizens. The festival also includes a Night Glow event, where balloons illuminate the night sky, dancing along to the music, as well as food and beverage vendors, musical entertainment, mobile tours and children’s activities.
Check out dates to see The DreamShip for yourself at this link.