In 2017, Chad lost his first wife, Julie, to cancer. To honor her faith and commitment to service, Chad, his sons, and co-founders, Blake and Catherine Young, created a non-profit named Julie's Dream. This organization is working to overcome the systemic barriers that prevent youth from low-income communities from experiencing the transformative power of the outdoors.
Julie was inspired to start this organization after she and Chad went to Mount Rainier in 2008. She would be proud to know that Julie’s Dream has partnered with other non-profits, including the Agape Youth and Family Center, Field Camp Ministries, PAWKids, and Wilderness Works, to bring her vision to life. And thanks to the support of so many who attended our first fundraising event in January 2018, we were able to surpass our fundraising goal of $250,000. As a result, our inaugural group of young people had their first outdoor experience in the summer of 2018.
Chad, along with friends and community members, continues to lead Julie’s Dream in its mission. Blake and his family also continue to be very involved in Julie’s Dream. Blake serves on the committee for the non-profit’s primary fundraising event, the Dream Big Celebration, and Blake’s wife, Catherine, serves on the board for Julie’s Dream.
In 2022, Northwestern Mutual recognized Chad’s work with Julie's Dream. Out of 17 financial advisors who received the company's Community Service Award, Julie’s Dream was one of four named the Most Exceptional and received a $25,000 grant.