Carrying for the community is a Thomas family tradition.
It was back in 1995 that Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas appeared in public service announcements for the Wendy’s Dreamlift Day fundraiser, and now daughter Wendy Thomas is taking part Jan. 25.
“I’m really excited to come to Dreamlift Day,” said Thomas, the namesake of the restaurant chain, during a conference call with Okanagan media Friday.
“One of the things my dad told me was the importance of giving back. It’s part of our responsibility.”
Wendy’s Dreamlift Day is organized by local franchisee Inland Restaurants, and it raises funds so the Sunshine Foundation can send kids with severe physical disabilities or life-threatening illnesses to Disneyland.
All of the proceeds from the day’s sales, as well as restaurant staff, management and owner’s wages are donated.
“It tells you what the community is all about,” said Thomas referring to the public which waits in line to purchase food and support the cause.
The goal is for Thomas to appear at all Wendy’s restaurants in Vernon, Salmon Arm, Kamloops, Kelowna, Westbank and Penticton, depending on weather, Jan. 24 and 25.
“It will be fun to see all of the staff and customers,” she said.
Dreamlift Day is unique to Inland Restaurants, but other Wendy’s restaurants across North America support the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.
“In the Wendy’s family, we’re always part of the community and trying to give back,” said Wendy Thomas.
Her dad named the company after her in 1969.
Thomas and her siblings own 33 Wendy’s restaurants in central and northeastern Ohio, and she recently appeared in television ads promoting Dave’s hot ‘n juicy cheeseburgers, named after her dad.
“Dad would be proud of them and he would have probably ate a few too,” she said.
This year’s 18th annual Wendy’s Dreamlift Day is expected to surpass the $1 million cumulative fundraising total.
The most recent Dreamlift flight to Disneyland was in December and the next one is scheduled for late 2013.
“I would love to be there and see the kids and all of the excitement behind it,” said Thomas of possibly going to Disneyland with the children one day.