Today marked the 19th annual Dreamlift Day at Wendy’s restaurants throughout the interior of BC, and over 60 athletes and staff members from the UBC Okanagan Heat volunteered for the effort, marking the program’s 4th consecutive year of donating time to the cause.
With restaurants from Kelowna, West Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon, Penticton and Salmon Arm participating, the event raises funds for the Sunshine Foundation of Canada: Dreams for Kids, which is a program that sends a plane load of children with severe physical disabilities or life threatening illnesses to Disneyland for a magical day.
Over the four years that the Heat have been involved, nearly 200 athletes and staff have lent their time and efforts, working either one-and-a-half or two hour shifts to amount to well over 300 hours of volunteering. The participating athletes have come from every varsity sport at UBC’s Okanagan campus, and staff members include both coaches and the administration.
Jill Festival, who has participated all four years, was eager to volunteer again and was all smiles at the conclusion of her shift, saying “It was so much fun!”
Other athletes, such as men’s basketball’s Matt Dalton Gibson, took to their social media outlet of choice to express their involvement with the event. Dalton tweeted: “About to go lift some dreams at Wendy’s with the @UBCOHeat. Come on by and #giveback! #dreamliftday.”
“Every year we do this event and are amazed at how the community responds,” remarked women’s volleyball coach Steve Manuel as 10 of his players were able to contribute their time at a Wendy’s today. “The Heat athletes, coaches and staff that have volunteered their time always enjoy the experience, even if they do smell like French Fries afterwards. We are so well supported by our local community that we are happy to be able to give back and volunteer at such a worthwhile cause, we will continue to be a presence to help out at events such as Dreamlift.”
All net profits, sales and wages (including ownership, management and staff wages) are donated to support the cause.
The key to the success of this event has been the grass roots support from every community, per wendysbc.ca.
Link to Heat Facebook photo album for the event: Click here.