Caitlin Crommett is passing on her wand as president of Dream Catchers, the high school organization of volunteers who make last wishes come true for patients at Hospice Care of the West. Her legacy began with a dream to help terminally ill patients experience joy, laughter, love and celebration in the company of family and friends.
Caitlin will be remembered for her inventive spirit that gave birth to Dream Catchers when she was just 15 years old and then went on start the club at Tesoro High School that became the Dream Team. She envisioned DreamCatchers to be like Make-a-Wish foundation for hospice especially elderly. She said most of her fellow classmates who desire to volunteer wanted to give their time to children’s organizations. So, it took some education and time to get her friends involved in DreamCatchers. Caitlin introduced her fellow high school friends to rewards of volunteering
and giving their time to the elderly.
“I want the people who will follow after me to realize that it’s our responsibility to give back to this community of people who have given so much to us,” Caitlin said.
She will confidently turn over Dream Catchers to junior Emily Beals who clearly rose as her successor over the last year. As we talked in an interview about her final dream with Dream Catchers, Caitlin became emotional but then turned to an up note as she envisioned taking on a new role as CEO.
“The Power of One,” is the title of a recent article in the Reader’s Digest featuring Caitlin and the
Dream Catchers. It’s a fitting title for such an incredible young woman who fulfilled 21 dreams in two years while finishing high school with a scholarship to attend the University of Notre Dame. Now with graduation behind her and her freshman year of college in front of her, she envisions growing Dream Catchers into a nationwide organization. She will start with opening a chapter at Notre Dame in Indiana.
“I’m going to miss Hospice Care of the West,” Caitlin said. “They’ve inspired me. It’s been amazing to work with them since I first had the idea. I’ve experienced so much encouragement, been surrounded by giving spirits who basically asked me for nothing in return. They were angels on earth and helped me since it was first born. I could not have asked for a greater group of people.”
Donna Miller, the Director of Volunteer Services, has been Caitlin’s biggest supporter. She visited Tesoro High School and trained all the students in volunteering for hospice.
“We are so grateful to Caitlin for making these dreams come true for our patients,” said Donna. “She is a true example of how one person can transform the lives of many. The team at Hospice Care of the West, our patients and families will remember Caitlin with love and gratitude. We wish her all the success in college.”
It seems fitting to send Caitlin off to Notre Dame with an Irish Blessing:
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
May the rains fall soft upon your fields,
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Thank you for bringing the magic of Dream Catchers to light the journeys of many terminal patients and their families. You will be remembered always as our “teenage fairy godmother” listening to the dreams of the dying and transforming them into brilliant, unforgettable moments.