Tommy Billet says it all began with his theatrical wife, Carmen. More than ten years ago, she discovered DreamWrights as an outlet for their grandson, Jacob. Tommy remembers, “Jake has been in 16 or 17 productions since he was 8 or 9.” He will soon be 16 and has been involved with every aspect of the productions: onstage, props, stage management, even sound and lights. “Jake grew up here. When he walks in the doors of DreamWrights, he’s home.”
It was important for Tommy and Carmen to make sure that Jacob has that second home to turn to not only for himself, but for other kids like Jacob as well. That’s why the Billets chose to leave their legacy with DreamWrights’ Lasting Dreams Legacy Society, a member of Leave a Legacy York County. Tommy explains, “We decided we wanted this perpetuated. We have a strong commitment to DreamWrights and feel it is a worthwhile program. So after we’re passed there is that legacy.”
In his will, Tommy has arranged for a portion of his estate to be left to DreamWrights, a portion to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and the rest to his grandchildren. Tommy laughs, “I’ve been eating oysters out of that bay for well over 60 years. I figure it is time to give back to them too.” But Tommy says that DreamWrights is a part of that whole picture “simply because it was good for our grandson and it was pretty good for us too. I enjoy coming here and seeing the children grow physically and mentally and just blossom. It’s a program worth supporting.”
Sadly, Carmen Billet passed away last April. Tommy remembers, “We were honored with a DreamWrights’ Lasting Dreams Legacy pin in January when we came to see The Secret Garden. That was the last time my wife was out. And it made her day.” Tommy has since had the pin made into a ring that he wears proudly. It is a comfort to him to know that his affairs are in order and places like DreamWrights and the oysters in the Chesapeake Bay will live on for others to enjoy for years to come.