The James M. Bryan, Jr. “Building Dreams for Youth” Foundation

By Sandra Zunino

The James M. Bryan, Jr. “Building Dreams For Youth Foundation” is holding its Seventh Annual Spring Event on Saturday, April 17 from 6 to 10 p.m. on the waterfront at The Oaks Country Inn in Royal Oak, Maryland. The Building Dreams for Youth Foundation was established seven years ago in the memory of James (Jimmy) Bryan, Jr. and his son, Josh.

Jimmy, CEO and General Manager of Bryan and Sons Contractors, was well known to many residents of the mid-shore area. In June of 2003, he passed away unexpectedly at the age of 56, leaving a wife and five children, including three sons. Tragically, Josh, his 13-year-old son, died in an accident just two months later.

During his lifetime, Jimmy was an enthusiastic and generous supporter of local youth programs, recognizing the importance of such programs in developing values and self-esteem among young people. Formed by Jimmy’s many friends and colleagues, the purpose of the Building Dreams for Youth Foundation is to continue Jimmy’s legacy by helping to ensure that children on the mid-shore have the opportunity to experience personal growth and self-esteem through participation in youth sports, recreation and development programs. The Foundation also supports relief from poverty and provides scholarships for trade education careers.

Part of Mid-Shore Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charitable foundation, the Foundation has a multi-faceted approach. Working through established service organizations, grants are provided to children and families who find themselves in emergency situations. Additionally, the Foundation acts in a pro-active fashion, identifying exceptional youth programs and assisting in their growth and increased outreach.

The Foundation also responds to requests from youth programs for support and capital needs. Solutions for Learning Differences, Preston Elementary School, Colonel Richardson High School and St. Michael’s Community Center, are just a few of the youth-based organizations who have benefited from the Foundation.

The Foundation also provides donors with the opportunity to support a broad range of worthwhile youth programs with one annual contribution. This allows contributors to guarantee a brighter future for children of the mid-shore region, while honoring Jimmy’s memory.

A fundraiser for the Foundation, The Seventh Annual Spring Event includes full open bar and Heavy Hors D’ouvres  as well as live music from the Pat O’Brennan Trio. Live and silent auctions will be held. Tickets are $100 per person.

Another fundraiser is the Maryland Eastern Shore license plate program. In partnership with the Mid-Shore Community Foundation and the MVA, the Foundation sponsors the license plates, which depict artwork of a crab. To date, revenues from the Spring Event and the license plates are approaching $600,000 in funding for local youth.

For Spring Event tickets, call 410-819-3780. For more information on the James M. Bryan, Jr. Foundation, visit For more information on Mid-Shore Community Foundation, visit or call 410-820-8175.

Maryland Eastern Shore License plates can only be obtained by calling 410-819-3780. Filling out a short application form and paying a one-time fee of $50, of which $25 is tax deductible, is all that is required.