A fundraiser for Canadians with health care needs who need assistance financing flights will take off from Pitt Meadows Airport on Saturday.
Give Hope Wings – Northwest Expedition will take flight this summer, to support medical care access through the national charity Hope Air. The ambitious expedition will be undertaken by volunteer pilots and flight crew on a journey over 12,000 km across B.C., the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and circumnavigating Alaska.
The expedition aims to raise enough funds to provide 1,000 flights for Canadians in financial need who must travel far from home for medical care – an estimated $250,000.
YPK spokesman Derek Brown noted that the airport donated $1,000 toward the cause at Airport Day.
The flight is comprised of three aircraft owned by Okanagan pilots Dave McElroy and Steve Drinkwater and Ian Porter of Kitsilano. In early 2018, McElroy and two other partners flew around South America, raising over $500,000 for Hope Air. After that trip, Pitt Meadows was their first Canadian stop.
Hosted by the BC Aero Club, who are providing a fly-in breakfast, the community is invited to meet the Give Hope Wings pilots and crew and wish them well on their journey of care and compassion.
All of the volunteer pilots and flight crew participating in the expedition are raising funds for Hope Air.
“The flights that Hope Air provides removes the burden of cost and long distance road travel from families facing illness and allows them to focus instead on what is important – their health,” said a press release.
At 9:30 a.m. there will be remarks from the Give Hope Wings crew and Hope Air, and at 10 a.m. they will take off. There will be another event in Quesnel at 2 p.m., and in Prince George at 6 p.m. Sunday at 11 a.m. there will be another community event in Fort St. John.
Since its establishment in 1986, Hope Air has arranged more than 142,000 free flights to healthcare. It has raised $203,000 toward a goal of providing 1,000 flights for patients in financial need to get to medical care.