(Photo: Alex Heywood)

A group of Canadian pilots announced a flying expedition from British Columbia to Manitoba and back to raise awareness and funding for Hope Air, a national charity providing flights and accommodations for those in need of support when travelling for vital medical care far from home.

The fourth annual Give Hope Wings expedition is scheduled to fly from Boundary Bay, British Columbia, to Churchill, Manitoba, and back from August 23 to September 3, 2021. The pilots will stop in multiple communities along the way including Kelowna, Nelson, Drumheller, Red Deer, Saskatoon, Thompson and Churchill.

The 5,200-kilometre expedition aims to raise $400,000 to provide 1,600 flights that will help people in financial need who must travel for care.

“The need for Hope Air’s services is still great during these times,” said Dave McElroy, chief pilot for Give Hope Wings 2021. “People who need treatment for cancer, heart disease and other serious illnesses must still get to city centre hospitals far from home. For many families who live in smaller communities, this has become an even more daunting challenge during this difficult period.”

“We are excited and grateful to be working again with our dedicated pilots who share our mission to help vulnerable Canadians reach vital care,” says Hope Air CEO Mark Rubinstein. “Through the contributions from this essential annual expedition, hundreds of families are helped.”

Give Hope Wings has raised approximately $900,000 to provide 3,600 flights to patients in need of vital medical care. Give Hope Wings is recruiting for additional pilots and volunteer flight crew who are interested in joining the expedition.