Seventy-seven children from B.C., including two from Langley, were given the gift of a summer's day in mid-December.
They were participating in DreamLift, a one-day trip to Disneyland that was put on by Sunshine Foundation.
From the 4: 30 a.m. start time to being greeted by parents at midnight, the day was full of fun and adventure for the children, all of whom have serious medical conditions.
Among the group were Doug Penner, 10, who attends Langley Christian School, and Austin Minot, 17, also from Langley.
The children were all accompanied by volunteers from the Lower Mainland, many of them health-care professionals from BC Children's Hospital.
On arrival at John Wayne Airport in Los Angeles, another contingent of volunteers greeted the children with cheers, ready to spend the day with the kids. They were all from the Orange County Sheriff's office.
"The least we can do is to spend one day to make a child happy," said Winston MacLean, with the community services division of the sheriff's office.
MacLean spent the day with two-nine-year-olds, one from North Vancouver and one from Richmond.
Emergency personnel of all stripes helped the day run smoothly. Sending the kids off at the airport in Richmond in the early hours were several police officers - retired and active - including Maple Ridge's Daryl Stone, president of the Lower Mainland chapter of the Sunshine Foundation, who organized the B.C.
Lower Mainland Sunshine Dream for Kids Tournament, the fundraiser that paid for the trip.
Richmond firefighters were there to help escort children and volunteers to the plane, sometimes just holding an umbrella to keep the rain at bay as they crossed the tarmac.
Other times, they carried the children onto the Alaska Airlines Boeing 737.
They also created a water-cannon arch as the plane taxied onto the runway.
Even the Canadian Border Services agents were smiling and greeting the children and volunteers, all the time checking bags and passports carefully before the trip.
Marilyn MacDougall with the Orange County Sheriff's Office is one of the big organizers at the L.A. end of DreamLift.
MacDougall was also in charge of matching children with sheriff's office staff - many of whom were sheriffs and deputy sheriffs.
"My goal is to make sure the kids have a fabulous day," MacDougall said. "It's all about the kids."
That could have been the tagline for the entire day, as many of the volunteers expressed their caring and best wishes for the children exploring Disneyland.
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