MIAMI (CBS4) – This morning in Cocowalk, Roy Foster started off his day giving a speech about veteran care, when he got the surprise of a lifetime. As he addressed the crowd for what he thought was a press conference he was interrupted by a man dressed in an elaborate genie costume. “Roy Foster! I’m the dream Genie and this is your dream day.” The blue man said over a megaphone.
The guy in the blue get up is Joshua Dawson. For the past year and half he’s been going around the country as the Dream Genie rewarding people for giving back to their community. “I think it’s important to highlight heroes in this world that’s the reason why we do it.” Dawson explained. “I started doing it when my father passed away from cancer and I thought of him to be quite a hero.”
Eleven years ago Roy Foster created the Stand Down House. It’s best described as a halfway house to help veterans coming back from war. Roy bridges the gap between the services already in existence and the veterans who fall through the cracks.
Veteran Joey Elluzzi was in the crowd of people on hand for the Dream Genie unveiling. Elluzzi came through Roy’s program.
“I was a drug addict and alcoholic. It was kinda hard for me to readjust. He gave us that time to readjust. He showed us it can work if we do the right things. I’m clean now 10 years.”
So far Stand Down has helped more than 1200 veterans.
“He’s given his whole life for this. For someone on the outside to give to him one day. Yeah, that’s pretty cool.” Elluzzi said.
As part of Roy’s dream day, Cocowalk gave him a thousand dollar shopping spree.
In true Roy fashion he spent it on someone else: his wife.
A few hours later he found himself at the Homestead Miami Speedway in a Formula One race car. Foster’s wife Tairetha was overwhelmed by the Genie’s kindness.
“It’s real exciting to see him honored because he’s always doing so much for others. It takes me back to when we first got together. It was always his dream to do this.” Tairetha Foster said.
The Dream Genie hopes his good will will “rub off” on others.
“You should just try to be a genie in your everyday life,” said Dawson. ” Anyone can be a genie. All you have to do is give to someone else.”
After taking laps at the Homestead Miami Speedway, Roy is headed to see a Florida Panthers game. He’ll watch the game with all his friends in a private suite. Then he’s headed to the Clevelander on South Beach.