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Wendy's serving up dreams for kids
Okanagan residents can make dreams come true by simply going out for lunch, dinner or a snack.
The 20th annual Wendy’s Dreamlift fundraiser takes place Wednesday at Wendy’s restaurants in the region. The proceeds help the Sunshine Foundation send children with physical disabilities and life-threatening illnesses to Disneyland for a day.
“This is a special year as we celebrate 20 years of support from the people in our communities,” said Ken Park, owner of the region’s Wendy’s.
“It is their generosity that helps to make many local children’s Disney dreams come true.”
All net proceeds from Wendy’s Dreamlift Day’s sales, as well as staff, management and owner’s wages, will go towards the next Interior flight to Disneyland.
“There’s a lot of positive energy and enthusiasm,” said Cathy Sarino, a Sunshine Foundation volunteer.
“The event raises awareness that there are children in our community with special needs.”
Sarino went on the most recent flight to Disneyland and spent time with a visually impaired child.
“It gave him a sense of confidence because he was on a big trip away from his parents,” she said.
“It’s a monumental step for the parents to see their children have pure joy.”
Wendy’s Dreamlift Day raised $115,000 last year, and Sarino is impressed with the restaurant’s staff giving up their wages for a day.
“That really touches my heart,” she said.
On Wednesday, Wendy’s restaurants will open at 6 a.m. for Redhead Roaster coffee by donation, with the regular menu available at 9 a.m.
Orange County sheriffs act as chaperones when the children are at Disneyland and representatives from the department will be in the Okanagan for Wendy’s Dreamlift Day. At the Vernon restaurant will be Lt. Jeff Hallock.
“Wendy’s wants them to connect to the community they are supporting,” said Park.
Local dignitaries, including from the RCMP, the fire department, sports groups and The Morning Star, will also be helping out behind the scenes.