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Swinging for a Cause: How Red Lake Airport's Golf Fundraiser is Supporting HOPE AIR"

Updated: Apr 5

Presenting Red Lake Airport’s first-ever Fundraiser Golf Tournament! The community is invited on July 19th, 2024, to a day of fun on the golf course. Golfers can expect a full 18-hole day of golfing, followed by an auction, a catered meal, & a live concert! Proceeds from the golf tournament will be used to support HOPE AIR.

Hope Air’s Mission:

Hope Air is Canada’s only national charity providing travel and accommodations for Canadians in financial need who must access medical care far from home.

Universal healthcare is a point of pride in Canada. Unfortunately, access to healthcare isn’t equal. Canada is a vast and beautiful country from coast to coast. This poses a unique challenge to our healthcare system and patients. Those who live in small communities or far away from urban centers may have to travel long and pronounced distances to reach care. 

When you support Hope Air, you can make an immediate impact on people’s lives and reduce critical barriers that many patients face.  By helping patients during times like these, you let them focus on what’s truly important – their health.  

How the airport decided to become involved:

Red Lake Airport participates in many aviation boards and conferences. We travel several times a year to meet with leading members of Canada’s aviation community as well as other airport operators from across Ontario and Manitoba. It is through these enthusiasts' efforts that we first heard about, the non-for-profit, Hope Air. We knew right away that what Hope Air stands for is essential for rural living Canadians like us. We decided we wanted to do something to help their mission, and that we wanted to spread awareness in our community so that no one is left behind when it comes to receiving essential medical care when it is most needed.

Starting an annual aviation-themed golf tournament has been discussed by local operators for years and now that we found such an outstanding organization to fundraise for, we are excited to get started! 

Local Impact:

Hope Air has helped people across Canada, including Red Lake Ontario.

Lori’s medical journey began in 2015 when the cancer screening bus made its way to Red Lake just before her 50th birthday. Her first mammogram shared the diagnosis of breast cancer. Concerned with the significant costs associated with travelling for regular treatments, a counselor at the Red Lake Hospital suggested she contact Hope Air.  "I phoned Hope Air. They asked me a few questions and then they followed up with doctors to make sure I did have those appointments and that was it. And then they did all the paperwork for me. All I had to do was show up at the airport. And it was very easy, I didn't have to worry about a thing." 

Lori began to travel frequently for medical care and successfully completed her breast cancer treatments. Unfortunately, a few years later, Lori was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, lymphoma, and later a brain meningioma.

Hope Air's assistance was significant in her medical journey, alleviating the financial burden and logistical complexities associated with accessing medical care in both Winnipeg and Thunder Bay. With Hope Air's support, she was able to navigate through radiation, chemotherapy, and all of her treatments with ease. The coordination of travel arrangements, accommodations, ground and meal vouchers allowed her to focus on her health, without the added stress of financial constraints or logistical challenges. "Hope Air's support has been wonderful," Lori emphasizes. "I've never had a problem. They handle everything, even making arrangements with a hotel and cab service when I traveled."

Even as Lori now celebrates being cancer-free for five years, the need for ongoing medical care remains. Regular appointments and scans are essential for monitoring her health and ensuring early detection of any potential recurrence. Hope Air continues to play a vital role in facilitating her access to these appointments, bridging the gap between her remote community and specialized medical facilities. "People with financial difficulties need support, and Hope Air provides that support. They're making a difference for Canadians who might otherwise struggle to access essential medical care."

Lori continues to share information about Hope Air with her community in the hopes that others in her community can get the support they need. “In Red Lake we don’t have many resident doctors anymore. If you have a big problem, you must go out of town. We have the facilities, but we don’t have the doctor.”

“You don’t know how much it meant, or still means to have Hope Air. I’m a widow now, if something happened, I would be lost.”

The Response so far:

The response so far has been incredibly positive and somewhat surprising due to the amount of interest from outside of the community.  Due to the Airport’s extensive participation in the aviation community, we have already secured sponsors and team signups from international aviation businesses and neighboring airports. We view this attention from the aviation community as a networking opportunity for local aviation operators and enthusiasts! The golf tournament is an opportunity to get in the same room with aviation professionals in a more relaxed setting. If everything continues as it has so far, Red Lake Airport is even planning to add a Job Fair and Airshow at the airport on the Saturday following the Tournament!

To register for the Red Lake Airport's Golf Fundraiser

Contact Lydia Riddell for more information or team signup:

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