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Central Okanagan  

Wendy's changes charities

Wendy's Restaurants in the Okanagan will continue to raise money for children.

A day after it was learned the local restaurants had ended its 20-year partnership with the Sunshine Foundation of Canada, owner Ken Park announced the chain would turn its attention to its own charity.

Park, who purchased the franchises in Kelowna, West Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon, Kamloops and Salmon Arm, says the restaurants will now raise money for the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

The foundation was started by Wendy's founder Dave Thomas in 1992.

"The foundation's goal is to find loving and permanent families for children who, through no fault of their own, are lingering in our Canadian foster care system right now," says Park.

"We felt it was time to help out these groups for now. The foundation is dedicated to match children with the families wanting to adopt. We are trying to create forever families for the children in our community."

Over 20 years, The Okanagan Wendy's Restaurants raised more than $1.4M for the Sunshine Foundation to send children with severe physical disabilities or life-threatening illnesses to Disneyland.

The one day fundraiser was traditionally held on the last Wednesday of January.

On that day, all proceeds including staff and owners wages were donated to the cause.

Park says a decision has not yet been made as to when the new fundraiser will take place but says it will be the same formula with all wages and proceeds going to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

He adds Wendy's will continue to support Dreamlift, however, there will not be a plane coming directly to Kelowna to take youngsters to Disneyland.

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