Friends and family came to see the pilots off at the Pitt Meadows Airport, and Liz Maruk, Max Lyon and Jasmine Ash-McQuillan made signs that could be seen from a great height. (Neil Corbett/THE NEWS)

Give Hope Wings fundraiser launches Saturday from Pitt Meadows

Flying marathon will benefit low income Canadians needing flights for medical treatment

Saturday morning the Pitt Meadows Airport hosted the takeoff of a marathon for Hope Air, which will fund about 1,000 flights for people needing medical treatment.

Give Hope Wings – Northwest Expedition, is the name of a fundraiser led by Kelowna pilot Dave McElroy. He and fellow Okanagan pilot Steve Drinkwater and Ian Porter of Kitsilano are taking their aircraft on a flight of more than 12,000 km across B.C. the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and circumnavigating Alaska. It will benefit the Canadian charity Hope Air, which arranges for flights for low-income people who need them for medical treatment.

McElroy was flying with sponsor Lise Ash. She and her husband own the Langley Sportsplex, and they got behind the marathon flight as the main sponsor.

Her husband David Ash said Lise is a new but enthusiastic pilot, and this was a natural sponsorship for their company.

“It’s a great cause and a chance to take an adventurous trip,” said David.

Alanna Scott, vice president of Hope Air, came from Toronto for the largest fundraiser the organization does. She said the charity makes travel arrangements that are free to its low-income clients, but cost the charity an average of $250 each.

The goal was to arrange for 1,000 flights with this marathon, and on the morning of takeoff in Pitt Meadows they had already raised enough for 980.

At 6 p.m. they were planning a stop in Prince George. That northern hub is an important city for Hope Air, with more than 1,800 donated flights into or out of Prince George every year.

She said awareness is also a great benefit of the marathon, which is billed “Another Epic Flight to Launch Hundreds of Others.”

“We like to get the word out that there is help available,” she said.

She noted that with Greyhound shutting its bus stations in the north, with winter driving conditions, and with roads being closed due to forest fires in summer, there is increasing demand for these flights.

Hope Air has been around for 33 years, and has flown 142,000 Canadians for needed medical attention.

McElroy did a similar marathon flight last year that raised $500,000 for Hope Air.

Anyone wishing to donate can do so at givehopewings.ca


 


ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Steve Drinkwater and his co-pilot get ready to start the Hope Air flight. (Neil Corbett/THE NEWS)

Just Posted

Rental, condo supply grows in Maple Ridge

More projects planned for downtown

Man charged in 2018 hit-and-run in Maple Ridge

Michael Howard Thomas was charged on July 19 in provincial court

Feds chip in $702k to kickstart new daycare program

Will provide 462 new spaces in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

B.C. teacher suspended for professional misconduct

Grade 8 shop teacher admits to use of vulgar language and profanities toward students

Northern B.C. double homicide, suspicious death: A timeline of what we know

Two teens from Port Alberni are now wanted Canada-wide in connection to the three deaths

B.C. wine industry legend Harry McWatters dies

Among his accomplishments, McWatters founded the province’s first estate winery, Sumac Ridge Estate

Provincial health body refuses to release full findings of cancer triage system audit

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions

Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

J34 was found more than two years ago near Sechelt, but the necropsy findings have now been released

B.C. rail crossing death highlights risks for people in wheelchairs: watchdog

Transportation Safety Board points to ‘persistent risks faced by persons using assistive devices’

B.C. teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Most Read