Save On Foods stores across the Kootenays have raised $14,420 through their second annual fundraiser for Angel Flight East Kootenay.
Angel Flight East Kootenay is a fully volunteer-run, registered charity founded by Brent Bidston and Todd Westlake. The service provides air transportation to residents in the East and West Kootenays to medical appointments in Kelowna, free of charge.
This year was the second year that Save On Foods has held the fundraiser, surpassing their original goal of $12,000. Stores in Kimberley, Cranbrook, Sparwood, Fernie, Golden and Nelson participated.
Bidston says that funds raised will purely be spent on providing transportation for patients.
“We are completely volunteer run, there is virtually no overhead so these funds will go directly to transporting patients,” he explained, adding that the majority of the cost is fuel.
Angel Flight began their journey in July of 2019. They were forced to ground flights due to COVID-19 earlier this year, and prior to the shut-down they were averaging about two patients per month.
Since the service started up again at the end of May, Bidston says flight requests have increased by 400 per cent - or two to three patients per week.
Angel Flight relies on the support of the community in order to continue providing their services. For those looking to donate or book a flight, contact Angel Flight by visiting their website at angelflightek.ca.
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