A group of dedicated Canadian pilots have announced a flying expedition from British Columbia to Manitoba and back to raise awareness and funding for Hope Air, Canada’s national charity providing flights and accommodations for those in need of support when travelling for vital medical care far from home.
The fourth annual Give Hope Wings expedition flies from Boundary Bay, B.C., to Churchill, Man., and back and runs from Aug. 23 to Sept. 3. The pilots will stop in multiple communities along the way including Kelowna, Nelson, Drumheller, Red Deer, Saskatoon, Thompson and Churchill.
The 5,200-kilometre expedition aims to raise $400,000 to provide 1,600 flights that will help people in financial need who must travel for care.
“The need for Hope Air’s services is still great during these times,” says Nelson’s Dave McElroy, chief pilot for Give Hope Wings 2021. “People who need treatment for cancer, heart disease and other serious illnesses must still get to city centre hospitals far from home. For many families who live in smaller communities, this has become an even more daunting challenge during this difficult period.”
For this expedition, pilots will launch from the Boundary Bay Airport, south of Vancouver. Along the way, there will be opportunities to meet with patients, donors and media with COVID-19 safety protocols and physical distancing measures in place. They will wrap up their expedition in Boundary Bay.
To date, Give Hope Wings has raised approximately $900,000 to provide 3,600 flights to patients in need of vital medical care. Hope Air is recruiting for additional pilots and volunteer flight crew who are interested in joining the expedition. For more information on joining or donating, go to givehopewings.ca.