It was noted philosopher Jiminy Cricket who advised that if you wish upon a star, your dreams will come true. Twelve-year-old Elmira resident Lucas Harrison didn’t exactly wish upon a star, but thanks to the Sunshine Foundation, he’ll be spending a week in Disneyworld beginning April 7.
The Sunshine Foundation of Canada helps provide “dream” experiences for children physical disabilities and life-threatening illnesses. Harrison previously visited the Happiest Place on Earth in 2012, when he was among 90 kids on ‘the Dream List’ who spent a whirlwind day in Orlando (departure: 6 a.m.; return: 2 a.m.).
“It was a blast – I had a great time,” said Harrison. “I’m looking forward to this just a little bit more, because last time we didn’t really get to go on the rides, and I’m going with my mom.”
The possibility of the trip was hatched when mother Angela Harrison (now a volunteer with the Sunshine Foundation) called to register an address change. Discussing the Dream List, she learned that her son could be eligible for a bigger prize.
“The woman I spoke with said, ‘I realize Lucas has been on the Dream List, but he’s never had a personal wish. He still qualifies for a personal dream. I’m going to send you the application,’” explained Angela Harrison, Lucas’ mother.
“I talked to Lucas, and he said he’d like to go back to Disney for more than one day, because it’s really too much to do in one day.”
A few months later Lucas received word that his wish had been granted, and on March 22, he presented with the ticket at a ceremony at Conestogo Mall (the plane leaves on April 7, and he won’t be back until April 13).
“I’m basically looking forward to the rides and the shows,” he said.
Based in London, Ontario, the Sunshine Foundation began in 1987, and in its inaugural year sent 203 children to Disneyworld. Since expanding nationwide in 1990, it has granted more than 34,000 ‘dreams.’
“It’s a wonderful charity,” said Harrison. I can’t get over the amount of stuff that they do. You just see dollars you donate actually put to work.”
More information on the foundation can be found at www.sunshine.ca.