Living Well created the Dreammaker Awards back in 2009 to honor individuals and groups making significant contributions that transform the lives of people impacted by disabilities. There are four categories—Community Partner, Donor, Self-Advocate and Volunteer. Each year at our Transforming Lives Gala the winners are celebrated for the advocacy and support their participation in our mission creates. By showing up and sharing their time, treasure, and talents, as well as their passion and personalities, we broaden our reach and create more opportunities to share the importance of disability awareness. We are forever grateful for everyone who has ever participated in our mission.

Multiple nominees may be submitted in each category, and staff and people served are welcome to nominate. The nominations include stories which detail specific examples of how the nominee demonstrates exceptional service that transform lives of people and staff at Living Well, in turn creating advocacy for disability awareness. A bit about the categories:

Innovative Solutions, 2018 Community Partner winner.

Community Partner

The Community Partner award honors an individual or organization whose work in the community has made a significant difference in the lives of the people we serve. This award is integral in helping Living Well expand reach and services, and nominations range from business partners to organizations that have stood up to help people served live better more fulfilling lives.

Past Winners: Mary Birch; Kingwood/Dominic; Jean Larson and MN Landscape Arboretum; Innovative Office Solutions; New Home Team; Bruce Nelson; Woodwinds Ways to Wellness; Maggie Miller; and Augustana Lutheran Church.

Geritom, 2018 Donor award winner and long time partner.


The Donor award honors an individual, family, company, or foundation whose financial support has created, sustained, or provided exceptional services that transform the lives of people impacted by disabilities. No way around it, money makes the magic happen faster. As a non-profit organization, we have the opportunity and responsibility to raise dollars, and these dollars have immediate impact on the quality of life for the people who live and work at Living Well. Considering some stats suggest less than 3% of foundation funding goes to organizations in the disability realm, we understand our donors who see us, truly understand us. And for this we are beyond grateful.

Past Winners: Carole Lee Randall and R&M Clark Family Foundation; Pate Family; JZac; Geritom; Kennelly Elevator Team; Donald & Joanne Varey; Miles & Cheri Cohen; Art & Liz Staples; June Peterson & Carson Kruger; Tapemark & Klas Family; Irene Kastle (In Memoriam); and Galen & Karen Pate.

Dan Stallsworth, 2021 Self-Advocate award winner.


The Self-advocate award honors an individual served by Living Well Disability Services for their personal accomplishments. This could include advocating for themselves and others in the disability community. This award is special because our self-advocates are a key pillar of our organization. The work we do is for THEM. Everyone who donates, volunteers or partners with Living Well is doing it so the advocates can have a bigger brighter voice, a higher quality of life, and a community to call their own.

Past Winners: Dan Stallsworth; Donald Golofski, Jr.; Andrea Nordmark; Dylan Stine; Janice Weinmeyer; Sarah Gonella; Caroline Guthery; Rod B.; David B.; Mike Polski; Kennelly Home and Dennis Gorman & Carla Chura.

Laura Bertrand, 2019 Volunteer award winner.


The Volunteer award honors a Living Well Disability Services volunteer (individual or group) who has made an outstanding contribution or demonstrated exemplary leadership, creativity, cooperation, and hard work that transformed the lives of people we support. We are fortunate to have over 500 volunteers who are often just a call away, all with varied backgrounds and reasons for pitching in to help in the homes, at the office or in a million little ways. That they chose us from list of hundreds of worthy organizations is not lost on us. We are grateful for the softness they bring to the betterment of the people we serve. Part of being in community is being with new people and sharing your life with others. By simply showing up and engaging with people served our volunteers are living our mission, and paving the way to inclusion.

Past Winners: COVID-19 Volunteer Support (Delivery Drivers & Meal Makers); Charlie’s Angels; Laura Bertrand; Judy Marder; Brooklyn Park Women of Today; Dennis Klose; Katy Roelofs; Guthrie & Max Hohlen; Steve Carlson; Julie Jones; Jason Quaford; June Joy; and Jen Gustafson.

We look forward to celebrating this year’s winners at the Gala, and will share a small part of their stories right here over the next few weeks. With gratitude to all who SHOW UP, thank you!