Wings Magazine

Hope Air hands out top awards


Hope Air hands out top awards
Hope Air, a unique national charity that arranges free flights for Canadians who are in financial need and must travel to health care, has announced its recipients of The Spirit of Hope Awards.

March 11, 2011  By Carey Fredericks

March 11, 2011, Toronto – Hope Air, a unique national charity that
arranges free flights for Canadians who are in financial need and must
travel to healthcare, is pleased to announce its recipients of The
Spirit of Hope Awards. These awards recognize the key role Volunteers
play in fulfilling Hope Air’s mission.
At the charity’s Annual General Meeting held on March 8, 2011, Hope Air presented awards to the 2010 recipients.

Gerd Wengler received the Distinguished Volunteer Pilot Award reflecting 83 Flights flown since 2000. Gerd is passionate about combining his love of flying his Cessna Skylane with his community giving spirit. In addition to the many flights he has flown, Gerd is also a long-standing member of the Hope Air Board of Directors, and has done much to promote Hope Air to other pilots and to the media.

“Hope Air has not only allowed me to expand my flying experience – which is very important to all pilots – it has also given me the privilege of playing an important role in people’s lives: I help get them to healthcare when they need it,” Gerd said at the awards ceremony on Monday. “This is a remarkable thing to me: I was told by the nurses of one man that I flew to hospital, that he described the flight we shared as ‘one of the most exciting things he had done in his life’. That means a lot to me.”

Pat Sillers received the Distinguished Volunteer of the Year Award, reflecting her more than 500 hours of service over seven years. Pat’s cheerful and professional attitude is always welcome at the Hope Air office as she takes flight requests from Clients, many of whom are dealing with multiple challenges, such as serious health issues and financial difficulties.


"After the agency I formerly volunteered for closed, it was great to discover Hope Air, where I could continue talking with people in need and offering assistance,” says Pat today. “I was so pleased to be associated with Hope Air that I persuaded some of my friends to join me there. The staff have always been welcoming and friendly to volunteers. Giving my time to this wonderful charity is worthwhile and satisfying."

“We are all extremely grateful for Gerd and Pat’s dedication and commitment to the Hope Air Vision that everyone in Canada has access to the healthcare they need, despite distance or cost of travel,” says Peter Jennings, Chair of the Board. “They are among the 125+ volunteers who last year contributed almost 6,000 hours of service to Hope Air. Their leadership is inspiring.”

It was with great pride that Hope Air launched The Spirit of Hope Awards in 2008 to recognize outstanding contribution to caring for Hope Air Clients that our Volunteers provide. While hours are a statistical measure, the caring that Hope Air Volunteers provide to people facing grave personal challenges cannot be under-estimated. Hope Air is fortunate to have so many people willing to be available on a regular basis to help with the mission of Getting Canadians To Getting Better!


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