Burgers, fries and a DreamLift

Wednesday's inclement weather didn't stop hundreds of Okanagan residents from participating in the annual Wendy's DreamLift Day in Penticton.

For many it's an annual event they wouldn't want to miss out on.

"We come every year, because it's a great cause and so uplifting when you see those kids board that plane," said Louis Albinati of Okanagan Falls.

This is the 20th anniversary for the annual fundraising event to benefit The  Sunshine Foundation of Canada.

All the net proceeds from the day's sales in the nine participating Wendy's, including Penticton, as well as staff, management and owners' wages, will be donated to Sunshine.

The funds generated send a planeload of special children with severe physical disabilities or life threatening illnesses to Disneyland for a day.

"I had a nephew who went on the trip when he was 7, and he still talks about it," said general manager Alyssa Corke. "I get goose bumps just talking about it. You don't see many events like this anymore, with so many people volunteering."

Among the volunteers were MLA Dan Ashton, City councillors, RCMP officers and a special visitor, Capt. Mike Toledo with the Orange County Sheriff's department.

Toledo, one of five representatives from the sheriff's department in the Okanagan Wednesday, has been a volunteer when kids get to Anaheim for 20 years.

This is his fourth trip to the Okanagan, visiting Salmon Arm twice, and now Penticton.

"Every year when you see the plane taxi up and the little faces against the window, it is amazing," he said. "And I love coming up here and seeing the generosity of the community. I see the same faces over and over again."

Toledo expected to spend at least eight hours at the busy Wendy's Wednesday.

Inspector Kevin Hewco with the Penticton RCMP, who was on hand for the morning shift, shared the enthusiasm.

"I love it," he said, as he handed out drinks and food at the drive-thru.  "It's great to see everyone stepping up even though it's a snowy day and everyone is busy out there dealing with the weather."





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