Give Hope Wings Raises Over $170,000

The national charity Hope Air is the recipient of over $170,000 in donations that have been raised by Give Hope Wings (GHW) in three separate flying expeditions across Canada in June of this year, with donations continuing to pour in.

Hope Air provides transportation arrangements for those who need to travel to distant locations to receive medical care in cases when government-paid ambulance service is not provided. Some, but not all, air transportation is provided by volunteer pilots with appropriate qualifications and suitable aircraft for the mission. Otherwise, Hope Air provides airline transportation free of charge.

Now in its seventh year, GHW was founded by pilot Dave McElroy with a circumnavigation flight of South America in 2018. Subsequent expeditions have taken a group of volunteer pilots on expeditions as far north as Inuvik and, in 2022, from Victoria, British Columbia to St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Total funds raised by GHW expeditions are now approaching $3 million.

The goal of these flying expeditions is to raise funds for Hope Air but, equally important, to raise awareness of the services provided by the organization, which typically include ground and air transportation, meal and hotel vouchers. Many GHW expedition pilots also provide flights for patients who need to travel for medical appointments and are facing financial challenges.

After the successful cross-Canada expedition that took more than three weeks to complete, the GHW organizers decided upon three regional expeditions: Eastern, Prairies and Western.

Again this year, Ontario resident and pilot Ed Johnston helped organize and lead the Eastern Expedition which included Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and Timmins, Ontario, where a fundraising concert headlined by Canadian Country music recording artist Cory Marks marked June 7 as Hope Air Day in Ontario.

June 17 marked Hope Air Day in B.C., where pilot (and Canadian Aviator editor) Steve Drinkwater organized and led the Western Expedition which stopped at numerous communities, large and small, throughout the province. A major community event was held in Prince George on the 17th, also proclaimed Hope Air Day in the city by Mayor Simon Yu, with a provincial government cabinet minister and MLAs present. A featured speaker was Lutrecia Macdonald, who was able to travel from central B.C. for specialized surgery in Vancouver thanks to Hope Air.

“Hope Air is amazing in my estimation, and I don’t know what we would have done without Hope Air,” Macdonald told the audience of over 200. “They are so great in helping Canadians and without them I don’t know what we would have done financially.”

The Prairies Expedition, led by Regina businessman Doug McNair was next, visiting communities across all three prairie provinces and culminating in a celebratory event in Regina hosted by that city’s flying club.

“For Saskatchewan residents who need to see a specialist in Edmonton, have surgery in Calgary or take their sick child to Toronto for care that is not available in their community or our province, Hope Air can help cover travel costs, said McNair.”

Learn more about Hope Air by clicking on this link and by viewing this week’s featured video.

With demand for Hope Air’s services soaring, donations are always welcome. Click here to donate.

Are you a pilot and interested in joining one of next year’s regional expeditions? Click here to send us a message.