Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION
Help feed their dreams of a Disney trip
Fundraisers to help send disadvantaged children to Orlando
A Winnipeg organization needs help propelling its dream of flying a group of disadvantaged youth to Disney World off the runway.
Dreams Take Flight Winnipeg’s goal is to provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for physically, mentally or socially-challenged children who would otherwise never get the chance to shake hands with Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, said key organizer Mira Hummerston.
She hopes two upcoming barbecues will give community members an appetite to help the cause.
"We need funds desperately," Hummerston said, noting the next Winnipeg flight is slated for April 2013 and selected kids will come from organizations such Big Brothers Big Sisters of Winnipeg, Rossbrook House and St. Amant.
The first barbecue will be held on Thurs., July 19 at Portage Family Foods, based at 1881 Portage Ave., and another will take place on Aug. 23 at Dakota Family Foods, located at 1099 St. Mary’s Rd. The company will donate drinks and hot dogs for sale.
While in attendance, individuals will get the chance to register for DTFW’s 1st Annual Dream Walk, which will take place at Assiniboine Park’s Lyric Theatre on Sat., Sept 8 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Registration for the three- to five-kilometre walk — which Hummerston is co-ordinating with Carol Eliasson — costs $25 and the individual who raises the most cash will win a trip with for two to anywhere Air Canada flies in North America.
The Dreams Take Flight concept dates back to 1989, when a group of Air Canada employees in Toronto decided to organize a one-off trip.
The idea grew wings and has spread to eight Canadian cities. Since 1996, when 71 prairie kids boarded an A320 Airbus to Orlando, more than 1,200 youth from Manitoba and Saskatchewan have benefitted from the program.
Air Canada donates the aircraft, Shell fuels the flight, while AC pilots, flight attendants, staff, family and friends donate their travelling time and fundraise throughout the year to cover other operating expenses.
Linden Woods resident Hummerston, a retired Air Canada employee of 34 years, said while there is outside sponsorship, donations have dwindled in recent years in an unstable economy.
"I’ve been doing this for 17 years and my first flight was so emotional, I cried and cried. When I looked into their eyes and saw that sparkle, it changed my life forever," she said.
"These are really wonderful children who touch you to the core. I think they enrich in more ways than we enrich them."
For more information, visit www.ywg.dreamstakeflight.ca.
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