Dream Big! Founder Linda Driscoll Honored With The Ad Club ADmiration Award

Presented by John Hancock at the 2015 Women's Leadership Forum

Applauds Leader of Non-Profit Working to Break Down the Economic Barrier That Prevents Thousands of Girls From Low-Income Situations From Participating in Sports and Physical Activity

Kathy Kiely, President, The Ad Club; Linda Driscoll, Founder & CEO, Dream Big! and 2015 The Ad Club ADmiration Award Recipient; and James Bacharach, VP, Brand, Marketing & Creative Services, John Hancock.

NEWTON, MA--(Marketwired - Mar 12, 2015) - Five years ago, Linda Driscoll made a decision that would forever change her life and thousands of others. She started Dream Big!.

Founded in her home, her vision was to help girls from low income situations achieve their dreams by providing them with the basic items and fees needed to enable them to participate in sports and physical activities that would, in turn, contribute to their health, education, fitness and overall well being.

On Monday, Driscoll received The Ad Club ADmiration Award -- presented by John Hancock Vice President of Brand, Marketing and Creative Services James Bacharach -- at the 2015 Women's Leadership Forum (WLF) for making that vision into a reality. Bacharach's remarks called out the tremendous impact Dream Big! makes on thousands of girls every year. Hosted by The Ad Club, the ceremony was a highlight of the WLF, a half-day conference dedicated to recognizing and honoring inspirational individuals who have made significant contributions to their fields for their leadership qualities and accomplishments. The Ad Club President Kathy Kiely joined in the award presentation.

"The award is presented each year in honor of a woman that is admired as an inspiration in the community and an extraordinary example of perseverance, leadership and passion. By empowering girls from low-income situations through sports and physical activity, Dream Big! gives these very deserving girls and young women equal opportunities and access to training, equipment and supplies," said Bacharach. "That promotes a healthy lifestyle while enhancing their physical, social and emotional development. Linda, we admire you for thinking big!"

"Sports are about so much more than competition," Driscoll said. "The lessons learned through teamwork and being physically active are critical and carry over into every aspect of our lives. All girls deserve these experiences, regardless of economic or social situations."

"Dream Big! is enormously grateful to everyone -- from the coaches, athletes and administrators to volunteers, sponsors and donors -- that make it possible for us to do what we do," Driscoll continued. "I'm honored to accept this award on their behalf."

Poverty can severely limit a girl's involvement in sports and physical activities. Dream Big! is working to break down that financial barrier. Since its founding, Dream Big! equipment, uniform and athletic footwear donations, program and training scholarships, sports clinics and Dream Big! Leadership Conferences have directly benefitted more than 14,000 girls in need. Notably, that includes 4,000 girls in 2014 -- almost 3 times as many as the prior year. Highlights include: providing dozens of new and existing teams with equipment and sports attire; hundreds of female athletes receiving new sneakers and cleats; more than 1,000 girls in Greater Boston attending Dream Big! sports clinics run by Dream Big! College Partner -- Women's Sports Teams & Female Olympians; 700+ female athletes from Boston and Lawrence attending the Annual Dream Big! Leadership Conferences at UMass Boston, Boston College and Northeastern University in the past 4 years; and a range of elementary schools in urban communities receiving sports and physical education equipment to help keep thousands of children active both during and after school.

About Dream Big!

Dream Big!'s mission is to help girls from low-income situations achieve their dreams by providing them with the basic items and fees needed to enable them to participate in sports and physical activities that contribute to their health, education and overall well-being. Founded in 2010, the Massachusetts-based 501c3 charitable organization is led by Founder & CEO Linda Driscoll, a non-profit and sports management professional for more than 30 years. Dream Big! partners with organizations, schools and community-based sports programs to identify and fulfill the equipment, athletic footwear, uniforms, training expenses and program fees of elementary-, junior high- and high school-aged girls from low-income situations, so they can engage in sports and physical activities that contribute to their overall health, education, fitness and well being. In just the past 5 years, Dream Big! has had a direct, positive impact on more than 14,000 girls.