A Day of “Yes!”
Sunshine chartered two planes and filled them with young Sunshine Dreamers for Sunshine DreamLifts to Disney in 2015-2016. The first took off on December 9th, 2015 from Kelowna, British Columbia, flying 71 children from the Okanagan Valley to Disneyland in Anaheim, CA for their magical day of “Yes!”. It’s called a day of “Yes!” because Sunshine and the caring volunteers and medical staff taking care of the children try to make it the best experience for each Sunshine Dreamer by saying “yes” as often as possible. “Can I go on Space Mountain again?” “Yes!” “Can we have ice cream?” “Yes!” “Can I give Mickey a hug?” “Yes, yes, YES!”
The 60th Sunshine DreamLift was made possible thanks to the support of many caring individuals including a key community partner from Kelowna, Papa John’s Pizza. Across the border, Sunshine volunteers were joined by members of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Federal Air Marshall’s Service (FAMS) and agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) who together greeted the DreamLift flight on the tarmac and became VIP escorts for the magical day.
On April 19th, the 61st Sunshine DreamLift took off from Toronto, ON to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Accompanied by a wide network of professional medical and community volunteers and support staff, 79 Sunshine Dreamers experienced an adventure of a lifetime. The majority of the children travelling from Toronto were referred by partners at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, both of which provided medical support volunteers to be matched with Sunshine Dreamers. The Toronto Police Service also provided tremendous support, volunteering to assist the medical teams in physically lifting children safely on and off the plane and the rides at the Magic Kingdom.
The day would not have been possible without the unwavering support from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office from Orlando, Florida, in conjunction with volunteers from the DEA and FAMS.
2016 was a magical year with 150 Sunshine Dreamers experiencing a once-in- a-lifetime day to make new friends and just be a kid at the most magical place on earth.