Dr. Cornelius Spies appeared before the regular meeting of Yorkton Council May 17, seeking support from the City for Hope Air’s ‘Give Hope Wings’ project.
“This is a once in a lifetime event,” he told Council.
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.
This year the flight, in which Spies will be involved, will make a stop in the city.
“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,” detailed material circulated to Council. “The squadron will create awareness and visit communities where patients live and travel to for medical care. The expedition will launch on Aug. 23, and return to Boundary Bay, British Columbia on Sept. 3.
“Departing Drumheller we’ll fly over the unforgettable Canadian badlands to Maple Creek, Saskatchewan where we’ll have lunch and take on fuel before continuing northeast to Yorkton.
“A number of pilots from COPA (Canadian Owners and Pilots Association) Saskatchewan, along with their friends, will be on hand to give us a welcome reception at Yorkton Airport on our arrival. We’re sure to make new friends at this overnight stop.
“The next morning we depart Yorkton for Northern Manitoba. We’ll stay overnight in Thompson, then fly on to Churchill on the shore of Hudson Bay . . .
“The goal of the expedition is to raise over $400,000 – enough to provide 1,600 patient flights.”
Spies said locally they are planning events at the airport for participating pilots and local residents. He also asked the City to participate in some way to help promote the event.
The program is one Spies said serves people well, and material in the Council package noted;
• 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
Council referred the request to Administration to provide a report on what the City could do with Spies request.