Daring to Dream on Staten Island

“What higher mission is there in life than helping an injured child?” asked Elissa Montanti yesterday at the ribbon cutting for the Dare To Dream House on Staten Island.

Ms. Montanti, author (with Jennifer Haupt) of the new book, I’ll Stand By You: One Woman’s Mission to Heal the Children of the World, has almost singlehandedly helped more than 150 children injured in war and by disaster, accident and illness, for the past 14 years.

Or, as she puts it, “14 years and 60 Minutes.” Because it was a 60 Minutes report in March 2011 that caught the attention of the two benefactors who were responsible for the purchase and renovation of the Dare To Dream House, writer-director Tyler Perry and Miles Nadal, CEO of MDC Partners. Nadal said that while he was watching that 60 Minutes broadcast he was “emotionally overwhelmed”, and thought to himself, “We have to help her.” And with the donations from Perry, Nadal and MDC Partners, the Dare To Dream House became a reality less than a year and a half after the broadcast first aired.

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