Governor General becomes Hope Air Patron
April 8, 2011, Toronto - His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, has agreed to be the Patron of Hope Air for the duration of his term.
Hope Air is proud to have the Governor General accept the position of Patron for our organization whose mission is to arrange free flights for Canadians who are in financial need and who must travel to receive appropriate healthcare.
“His Excellency endorses Hope Air’s vision of a future where everyone in Canada has access to the medical care they need, despite distance or cost of travel,” says Doug Keller-Hobson, Executive Director of Hope Air. “This is Hope Air’s 25th year of operations and we will achieve a tremendous milestone this year: 66,000 flights since we began in 1986. Those flights have been provided to people of all ages and all illnesses.”
The Governor General spoke of Canada as a “Smart and Caring Nation” during his installation speech in October 2010, where he said the main pillars during his mandate which include support for families and children as well as the encouragement of philanthropy and volunteerism. Hope Air directly supports both of these goals:
- By helping children and adults fly to their medical appointments, rather than driving up to 12 hours or more each way, Hope Air assists people with a quick return to good health and to work and school with minimal time away. As well, Hope Air ensures the wellbeing of our citizens, no matter where they live in Canada, by providing access to medical expertise and health technologies that are only located in larger urban areas.
- As a charitable organization with deep volunteer roots over its 25 years of operations, Hope Air knows the difference that individuals can make when they help others. Hope Air was founded by Joan Rogers and Jinnie Bradshaw in 1986 when they saw a need to get cancer patients from eastern Canada to expertise and technologies that were located in Toronto.
Since then, through the dedication and passion of thousands of volunteers, including private pilots who donate their time and aircraft, Hope Air has become a national organization that arranged 3,675 free flights in 2010 – an increase of 58 per cent over 2009. Hope Air operates three different flight programs, including donated airline seats from national and regional airlines and a new Flight Purchase Program to use donated funds to buy seats when donated flights are unavailable. No costs are transferred to our clients.
His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D. joins Dr. Marc Garneau, C.C., Canada’s first astronaut, who has been Hope Air’s National Honorary Patron since 2001.