On a beautiful fall morning, 26 family members of “Pat’s Parade” showed up at the entrance of the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo. Wearing blue shirts with elephants holding trunks, this close family of brothers, sisters, grandchildren and cousins greeted and celebrated their favorite lady, Pat. Most of the family drove over three hours to get to the zoo, because they knew this would be a fantastically special day.

Pat’s favorite animal has always been an elephant. While attending the circus years ago, she let out a happy scream and cried when the baby elephants came out to perform. She loves their big ears, gentle demeanor, and she is overwhelmed by their cuteness.

Pat was diagnosed with cancer and soon shared some of her final wishes—one of them being a family outing to the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo and meeting the elephants. Pat’s daughter, Anne, wrote a heart-felt nomination and Dreamweaver knew we had to do something special.

With the help of the Zoo Foundation, Pat and six family members were able to have a behind the scenes Elephant Encounter. Here, Pat experienced her favorite animal close-up. She got to ask questions, hear stories and learn about her favorite animal from a trained elephant zoo keeper and get a special backstage experience that many people would have never seen. It was truly a Dream come true for her.

The family then stayed the night in Omaha at a hotel where they reflected on the day and the magical elephant encounter. They were all together and in good spirits. Pat’s Dream of seeing the elephants and having an incredible day at the Omaha Zoo with her family was a success. They headed back to Iowa with new memories and an incredible story to tell.

Thank you to the Omaha Zoo Foundation for making this Dream possible!