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Sunshine Foundation and Philadelphia Flyers become a team for dreams

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When organizations that have a big heart get together they can provide a memorable event for a family that can last forever, which is just what happened when the Philadelphia Flyers Organization teamed up with The Sunshine Foundation.

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The Mitsouras family of Philadelphia became the newest “Giroux's Crew,” Thursday evening, December 12, 2013. With the Flyers generosity and the Sunshine Foundations long list of Dreamers the family was provided “Suite F” to spend the evening enjoying a wonderful evening watching the Flyers defeat the Montreal Canadiens.
The six siblings, including Ines, age 6 who deals with her Cerebral Palsy very bravely and their dad, were all provided an evening to remember when they were featured on the magnificent high definition video scoreboard hanging over the ice.

The Philadelphia Flyers are a class organization that deserves accolades for their community give back efforts and especially when teaming up with national organizations like the Sunshine Foundation, who give back everyday everywhere, trying to make dreams a reality, it is a “Win, Win” event.

The Sunshine Foundation's sole purpose is to answer the dreams of chronically ill, seriously ill, physically challenged and abused children ages three to eighteen, whose families cannot fulfill their requests due to financial strain that the child's illness may cause.

Dream requests are as unique and individual as each child they serve, but Sunshine Foundation's most popular request is a family trip to Disney World or a family trip to the Dream Village and the Orlando Attractions. The Sunshine Foundation also receives many other requests as well. Special dreams can be anything from a celebrity meet and greet, family trip, shopping spree or adaptive medical or therapeutic equipment!

Criteria in order to receive a dream through the Sunshine Foundation, a child must meet
the following requirements: Child must be between the ages of 3-18; Child must be chronically ill, seriously ill, physically challenged or abused; Household annual income may not exceed $75,000, The child or any other family member may not have had a dream granted through Sunshine Foundation or any other wish-granting organization. Sunshine Foundation grants ONE DREAM PER FAMILY.

Sunshine Foundation provides Dreamlifts, a one day excursion to Disney or other Orlando theme parks. Sunshine charters a plane and takes groups of about 100 special needs children to spend the day in the #1 most requested destinations. For many of these children they are having two dreams fulfilled: their first time flying and a day at one of Orlando's theme parks.

Everyone boards the plane in their hometown and just a few hours later they are enjoying a day that will mean tons of fun and exciting memories at that special place! Volunteers come out to lift the children on the plane and share in the excitement!

Since Sunshine Foundation started its Dreamlift program, over 99 chartered planes have taken over 5,000 children to Florida from cities across the United States. This program gives groups of chronically ill, physically challenged and abused children that special day in their favorite place... Universal Studios or Disney World!

Bill Sample founded Sunshine Foundation in 1976. Sunshine Foundation was an idea born during his many years as a Philadelphia police officer. In 1962, following three years of service in the United States Army, Sample joined the Philadelphia police force. Stationed on protective duty at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, Bill often met chronically ill or terminally ill children and their families. Through talking with the families, he learned the emotional and financial strain that comes with having a seriously ill child. Mounting medical bills and time off from work made providing their child with what could be their last dream seem out of reach.

Bill Sample decided he was going to make a difference in these children's lives. After taking out a personal loan and gathering a small group of dedicated volunteers, Bill founded Sunshine Foundation, the Original Wish Granting Organization, with the mission of answering the dreams of chronically ill, seriously ill, physically challenged and abused children ages three to eighteen, whose families cannot fulfill their requests due to the financial strain that the child's illness may cause. Sunshine Foundation answered the first dream in January of 1977 for four year old Bobby, who dreamed of playing in the snow in the Poconos. Bobby's dream came true just four short months before he lost his brave battle with Leukemia.

Bill worked hard at answering dreams while still maintaining his position with the police force until he retired in 1983 to dedicate his efforts full time to Sunshine Foundation. With Bills direction, Sunshine Foundation has grown to include the Dream Village, a 22 square acre property, 15 miles to the Orlando theme parks, where children and their families stay in one of 9 fairytale themed cottages and enjoy a handicapped accessible playground, a wheelchair accessible pool and a miniature golf course during their stay.

Sunshine Foundation has answered over 36,000 dreams and has been able to maintain that 82% of all donations go directly to children's programs. Bill Sample remains the President Emeritus of Sunshine Foundation, which has become one of the most respected children foundations in the nation.

When Bill stepped down the reins of the Sunshine Foundation were picked up by his wife Kate Sample. Kate appears to emulate the Energizer Bunny by being always on the go. Kate Samples goal, "Is to reach out and identify the 80% (11,000,000) children who live with these life long conditions everyday," quickly adding, "we need to help them and bring some joy to their lives."

If you would like to be of help the organization fulfilling dreams of those in need, click on this link for detailed information - -


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