Dreams come true

Rachel Brod (left) and Kristie Evenson are ready for Wendy’s Dreamlift Day Wednesday. - Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star
Rachel Brod (left) and Kristie Evenson are ready for Wendy’s Dreamlift Day Wednesday.
— image credit: Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star

Big smiles are ready to take flight.

Wendy’s Dreamlift Day takes place at all Wendy’s restaurants in the Okanagan. The funds help the Sunshine Foundation take children with severe physical disabilities or life-threatening illnesses to Disneyland for a day.

“It’s an absolutely magical day,” said Steve Tuck, with the Sunshine Foundation.

This is the 19th year for the event and it has become a tradition across the valley.

“People are patient, wait in line and brag about how long they have been going to Dreamlift,” said Tuck.

All of the profits and staff and management wages Wednesday will go to the foundation.

Last year, a record $114,276 was raised, pushing the cumulative total since 1995 to $1.1 million.

“The support of the community is unparalleled,” said Akbal Mund, an area partner with Wendy’s.

“Every year, more and more people want to get involved because somewhere along the line, they know a child will benefit from their generosity.”

Mund has high praise for his staff who give up their wages for the day and former employees who volunteer.

“They understand what the cause is for. It’s a big event for them,” he said.

As part of Dreamlift Day, local dignitaries will be volunteering in the dining room and kitchen, while Capt. Bob Peterson, of the Orange County Sheriffs Department, will be on scene in Vernon. The sheriffs chaperone the children when in Disneyland.

Mund, a father of two, has been on two of the flights to Disneyland and he has seen the positive impact it has had on some special children and their families.

“It hits you right in the heart,” he said.

“The trip provides the kids with an opportunity to go to Disneyland and the parents get to know that their kids will be OK on their own.”

Wendy’s and the Sunshine Foundation want everyone in the Interior to know that they can refer a child who may be eligible for the trip to the Magic Kingdom.

“It’s a great opportunity promote this to social workers, doctors and others and let them know about the program,” said Tuck.

“It’s also a great chance for a child to get out of this world for a day.”

The next scheduled flight to Disneyland is in late 2013.























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