East Kootenay region Save-On-Foods stores raise $19,390 for Angel Flight East Kootenay

Two pilots in cockpit of small plane.

Entirely volunteer-led, Angel Flight East Kootenay flies patients from the East Kootenays to Kelowna to attend medical appointments and treatment centres. — Photo courtesy Angel Flight East Kootenay

The name of a local non-profit charity that provides free air transportation is fitting—Angel Flight East Kootenay is truly a godsend to those in need of assistance. Founded in April 2019 by retired airline captain Brent Bidston, the service aims to fly primarily cancer patients and children with caregivers from the East Kootenays to Kelowna to attend treatment centres and specialist appointments. Entirely volunteer-led, this charitable organization provides the service for free.

Recently, Save-On Foods stores in Cranbrook, Sparwood, Fernie, Creston, Golden and Kimberley all joined together to raise funds in support of this worthy non-profit organization. Co-ordinating their own unique fundraising efforts, these regional stores were able to raise a combined total of $19,390. This remarkable effort exceeded the original pledged amount by $7,390.

Save-On-Foods managers with large cheque showing total of fundraising efforts.

Save-On-Foods stores in the East Kootenay raised almost $20,000 for Angel Flight East Kootenay. — Photo courtesy Save-On-Foods

“It’s an absolutely huge bonus, financially, which ensures that we will continue providing the service for quite some time, but it’s also a huge benefit in the fact [Save-On-Foods] spread the word so well,” said Bidston. “And as a result, we are getting more calls from people who are offering to do some fundraising for us as well as getting the word out to our potential clients.”

And those potential clients extend to anyone who finds themselves in need—even new fathers. A heartfelt note from a thankful new dad on the Angel Flight East Kootenay website explains his predicament and how Angel Flight helped. The father’s new baby son had to be rushed by air ambulance to Kelowna, but because of space limitations, he couldn’t travel in the plane with his wife and baby boy. Left to find alternative travel arrangements, he contacted Angel Flight, and by the next morning he was in Kelowna, even arriving at the hospital before his wife and son. “What amazing work you are doing for people in our community!” said this happy and relieved dad.

For more information on Angel Flight East Kootenay, you can visit its website: www.angelflightek.ca.

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