Walt Disney World Resort: four words that can magically take you back to childhood and let your imagination run free. There are a lot of children, from 7 to 77, who’d like to go to Florida and visit this wonderful park but not everyone who wants to go can.
The Dreams Take Flight Foundation, a national volunteer charity, provides the opportunity to physically, mentally or socially challenged children to take the trip of a lifetime to see Mickey and his friends.
This year, for the first time, four children from 3 Wing Bagotville, Que. benefitted from Dreams Take Flight and flew to Walt Disney World.
The Bagotville Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) chose the winners based on their age (between 6 to 11 years old), family circumstances, efforts made by the children, good behaviour, rank and family income. Also eligible for the program were children who had a parent on deployment.
And Ariane and Roxane Saulnier, Kristine Campbell and Karine Plamondon Bastien were the lucky four selected to go to Disney for three days.
“The three days were really hectic, but the children had the time of their lives,” said Geneviève Duval, the MFRC representative who accompanied the girls on their adventure.
A ceremony was held in Montreal, Que., to see the adventurers off and special guests included Disney characters and a CF-18 from 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron.
This opportunity, made available to the Canadian Forces for the first time by the Dreams Take Flight Foundation, was greatly appreciated.
“I would like to congratulate the supporters for understanding the impact of deployments on the families of our service men and women and for giving the children of our deployed members this opportunity,” said Colonel Alain Pelletier, commander of 3 Wing. “This chance to go to Disney World has made every difference in the morale of these families, and I sincerely hope that this opportunity will be given to other families next year as well.”
(In the photo) Front row: The Dreams Take Flight winners, Ariane Saulnier, Roxane Saulnier, Karine Plamondon Bastien and Kristine Campbell.
Back row: Geneviève Duval, Caroline Parent, Michel Dupuis, Master Corporal Sylvie Plamondon and Mireille Chiasson.