Hope Air’s ‘Give Hope Wings’ project will be making a stop in Yorkton Aug. 25.
Dr. Cornelius Spies explained, Hope Air is Canada’s only national charity providing free travel and accommodations for Canadians in financial need who must access medical care far from home.
Since its inception in 1986, Hope Air has provided over 155,000 travel arrangements for patients regardless of age or medical need.
The expeditions have raised $900,000, allowing Hope Air to provide 3,600 flights for patients in financial need who must travel far from home for medical care.
Spies added typically the families helped have an income of less than $30,000, and must travel more than five hours for the health care.
For example, Spies, as a pilot recently flew to Nipawin where he picked up a patient, took him to Saskatoon for an appointment and then returned him to Nipawin.
So the goal of the flight, and stop in Yorkton, is to raise funds and awareness for Hope Air.
Several fundraising events are being held leading up to the actual arrival, including night golf at Deer Park. Through the effort of Allan Sauser and the pro shop staff $5,000 was raised.
As part of that effort Alicia Simoneau from PAC has organized the PAC Pedal for Patients ‘Bike or Hike for Hope Air’ was announced for the city Aug. 14.
The fundraiser is designed to allow participants to bike 25 kilometres, or to bike or hike five or eight mile courses.
People can raise pledges and register online – at the Facebook event page -- and have a chance to win prizes including an electric bike, a flight from Yorkton or a one-year gym membership.
The Fourth Annual Give Hope Wings: Boundary Bay to Hudson Bay Expedition 2021 will be a multi-aircraft, series of flights from Boundary Bay, British Columbia to Churchill, Manitoba and back.
The expedition will launch on Aug. 23, and return to Boundary Bay, British Columbia on Sept. 3.
Spies said when in Yorkton festivities are being planned at the airport includinga fundraiser at the Greg Ottenbreit hangar at 3 p.m., and a supper will be held for crew and sponsors at York Lake Golf Course.
The next morning participants will depart Yorkton for Northern Manitoba, where they will stay overnight in Thompson, then fly on to Churchill on the shore of Hudson Bay.
The overall goal of the expedition is to raise over $400,000 – enough to provide 1,600 patient flights.
The program is one Spies said serves people well, and material on the effort notes;
• Without Hope Air, 32 per cent of Hope Air’s patients would cancel or postpone their medical appointments
• Patients travel for appointments such as pediatric, cancer, musculoskeletal, nervous system and cardiovascular
• Hope Air has been chosen as one of Canada’s best 100 charities by Maclean’s magazine, MoneySense magazine and Charity Intelligence based on efficiency, transparency and need.
• Hope Air has made more than 155,000 travel arrangements across all 10 provinces since 1986
• 30 per cent of Hope Air’s travel arrangements are for children and young people’s medical care
• 3.2 million Canadians live below the poverty line including 566,000 children
• 3 in 10 Canadians live outside of the larger cities and further from healthcare centres