Dana Brown Charitable Trust Grant Allows Starkloff to DREAM BIG

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The Starkloff Disability Institute recently received a $15,000 grant from the Dana Brown Charitable Trust, one of the most generous philanthropic foundations in St. Louis. Dana Brown pays out approximately $3 million annually in support of causes related to disadvantaged children and animal welfare.

According to Scott Thompson, Director of Development at SDI, the funds come at a crucial time for the organization’s fastest growing program.

“The $15,000 gift from Dana Brown Charitable Trust provides us resources we need to expand our DREAM BIG program, allowing us to serve more students, increase program opportunities and further connect our students with more companies in the region,” Scott explains.

SDI’s leadership team made a positive first impression on Dan Watt, Executive Director of the Dana Brown Charitable Trust.

“I visited the SDI office and met Colleen [Starkloff], Lori [Becker], the management group and several other people,” Dan recalls. “I was very impressed with the knowledge they had of the programs they’re involved in. I was impressed with the manner in which Colleen knew and understood the whole disability framework within the St. Louis Metropolitan Area.”

As Executive Director of Dana Brown, Dan has become intimately familiar with many nonprofit organizations in the region. A reputable and fully engaged board of directors is something Dan always looks for, and he was pleased to discover that he knew many of SDI’s board members personally. He says SDI’s diverse network of actively involved corporate partners is another distinguishing characteristic.

“One thing that stood out, and I remember this clearly from our meeting, was SDI’s connection with various St. Louis corporations,” Dan recounts. “Whether it’s a large corporation like Boeing or a smaller business, they’re connected with the places that will one day hire these students.”

Dan concludes: “All this gives us a sense that SDI is having success and achieving its mission – which is the same as ours – to help the disadvantaged children of St. Louis in a more substantive way. We’re proud to fund SDI and the DREAM BIG program.”

SDI thanks Dana Brown for its generous contribution.


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