Date: April 19, 2002 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact: Michal Shanley, (863) 534-6631 or 819-0397 pager
PCSO Member Volunteers To Assist "Dreamlift" Children For Magical Day Of Disney Fun

On Tuesday, Apr. 23, 2002, Polk County Sheriff's Office member volunteers will greet over 100 seriously ill and physically challenged children as they arrive for a "Dreamlift" visit to the Magic Kingdom.

Sheriff's Office members will greet the visiting children as they arrive at the Orlando Airport for a magical day of fun and dreams at Walt Disney World. The PCSO volunteers will then help the children and volunteers load onto buses for the trip to the Magic Kingdom. Many of` the children are confined to a wheel-chair. "Dreamlift" is a project of the Sunshine Foundation in Loughman, which helps make dreams come true for terminally and critically ill children.

Funded through donations, The Sunshine Foundation serves terminally and critically ill children by granting them a wish, such as a trip to Disney World or meeting a famous person or hero. The Foundation's Loughman facility includes cottages for visiting children and their families, and features the brick patrons' walk honoring those who have donated to the program. Individuals or groups wishing to donate to the facility can purchase a brick for the patrons' walk, and help create a lasting memory for a sick child. The Foundation was founded by Bill Sample, a former Philadelphia police officer assigned to a local children's hospital in the 1960's. As an officer at the hospital, Sample came to know many critically ill children and their families. Burdened by a desire to help ease their suffering, Sample enlisted the help of nine other men and women to form the Sunshine Foundation, a group dedicated to granting wishes to critically ill children.

Unlike other national charities, the Foundation is not backed by numerous corporate contributors. It relies on the support of  people and organizations. For more information on the Sunshine Foundation, call (800) 457-1976.

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Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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