Watch for RCMP Insp. Jim McNamara (left) and Morning Star sports editor Kevin Mitchell during Dreamlift Day at the Vernon Wendy’s Wednesday.

Watch for RCMP Insp. Jim McNamara (left) and Morning Star sports editor Kevin Mitchell during Dreamlift Day at the Vernon Wendy’s Wednesday.

Dreamlift ready to top $1 million

It’s anticipated that Wednesday’s Wendy’s Dreamlift Day will surpass the $1 million cumulative fundraising total

It’s going to be a million-dollar day.

It’s anticipated that Wednesday’s Wendy’s Dreamlift Day will  surpass the $1 million cumulative fundraising total since being launched in 1995.

“This is unparalleled,” said Steve Tuck, with the Sunshine Foundation.

“This is one of the greatest gifts that goes to charity.”

On Wednesday, all of the proceeds from the day’s sales at all Wendy’s restaurants in the Okanagan, as well as staff and owner’s wages, will go to the Sunshine Foundation.This enables the organization to send children with severe physical disabilities or life-threatening illnesses to Disneyland for a day.

Dreamlift Day at the Vernon Wendy’s has become a community favourite and large crowds are expected.

“People line up for longer lines than they would at any other time,” said Tuck.

“They are proud to come out year after year. They own this event.”

Local celebrities and dignitaries will be helping  Wendy’s staff and alumni behind the scenes, whether it’s taking orders, flipping hamburgers, cleaning tables or preparing beverages.

Residents will have a chance to meet Lt. Robert Peterson, with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, which provides escorts for the children while they are exploring the Magic Kingdom in Anaheim, Calif.

Besides surpassing $1 million, this year’s Dreamlift Day stands out because Wendy Thomas, the daughter of Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas and the namesake of the company, will be participating.

She will be visiting all of the restaurants in Vernon, Salmon Arm, Kamloops, Kelowna, Westbank and Penticton Tuesday and Wednesday.

“Wendy’s visit is weather dependent and she will be visiting Vernon some time Tuesday,” said Akbal Mund, with Inland Restaurants, the local franchisee.

Mund is hoping for enthusiastic crowds Wednesday.

“It’s such a great community event,” he said.

For Mund, the most important aspect of Dreamlift Day is supporting some special children and allowing them to be kids, even if it’s just for a day in Disneyland.

“The kids have such a great time. Some don’t want to go on rides and they want to meet all of the characters. Some go on the same ride 10 times,” he said.

“They say they may never get to do it again and they do everything they want.”