- First Dreams Take Flight trip departing Edmonton since 2019
- Fourth flight of 2023 taking off from across Canada
MONTREAL, Sept. 19, 2023 /CNW/ - Early this morning, 104 children from Alberta and the Northwest Territories, many of whom have never stepped foot on an airplane, took off on the trip of lifetime. Departing from Edmonton International Airport the children from Dreams Take Flight jetted off for a theme park in California, marking the 30th anniversary of the Edmonton chapter of Dreams Take Flight. Today's flight is the first Edmonton Dreams flight since 2019, and the fourth of eight Dreams Take Flight trips planned across Canada for 2023. Over the past 30 years, Dreams Take Flight and Air Canada, as the exclusive carrier, have given more than 42,000 Canadian children a Dreams flight.
With the support of devoted Air Canada employee volunteers, the Air Canada Foundation and the Dreams Take Flight organization, these trips take children from across the country on a trip-of-a-lifetime and help them create magical memories. That was the case for Naomi, who took part on the 2011 Dreams flight from Edmonton and would have celebrated her 19th birthday last week.
"Through she was still recovering from the effects of fighting cancer, she threw off all hindrances and partied from before the sun came up until well after the sun set. The stories she came back to us with filled our hearts and the photo book we received in the mail a few months later is still something we cherish to this day," Naomi's mom recalls fondly.
"After 30 years, stories like Naomi's only add to our belief that, one child at a time, we are making a difference," said Kyle Chrystian, President, Dreams Take Flight Edmonton. "It is this knowledge that fuels our dedicated team of volunteers and keeps them devoted to this wonderful endeavour. I am extremely proud of the difference we make to the children of Alberta and the Northwest Territories."
The children participating on a Dreams flight are selected through the Dreams Take Flight charity and face mental, physical, emotional or social adversity. Pilots, flight attendants, maintenance engineers, and numerous other people on the ground and behind the scenes generously donated their time to make the most magical experience for the children.
Each year, 1,700 kids take the trip of a lifetime to a theme park in Florida or California. Four more flights from across Canada are planned for this year, from Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Ottawa. Earlier this spring, Dreams flights from Winnipeg, Toronto and Halifax took place.
About Dreams Take Flight
Dreams Take Flight is a national non-profit organization dedicated to providing the trip of a lifetime to children who may be physically, mentally or socially challenged. With the aid of Air Canada, the Air Canada Foundation and other national and local organizations and businesses, money is raised to fund the program in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Halifax. Funds not required for its primary purpose can be gifted by Dreams Take Flight to other registered charities that benefit physically, mentally or socially challenged children and are within the policies adopted by Dreams Take Flight Canada. The first Dreams Take Flight station was founded in Toronto in 1989. Since then, the organization has taken over 40,000 special children to Florida and California.
About the Air Canada Foundation
The Air Canada Foundation, a not-for-profit organization focused on the health and well-being of children and youth, was launched in 2012. It offers both financial and in-kind support to Canadian-registered charities. Core programs include the Hospital Transportation Program, which redistributes Aeroplan points to 15 pediatric hospitals across Canada, enabling sick children to access the medical care they need away from home. The Air Canada Foundation, in collaboration with the airline, also engages directly in fundraising activities, such as the Every Bit Counts program, which encourages customers to donate loose change of all denominations on board flights or through collection containers available in Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges. The Foundation also offers continued support to major health-related causes that benefit Canadians and is an active participant in international humanitarian relief activity as the need arises. For more information about the Air Canada Foundation, please read the 2020-21 impact report or the Air Canada's 2021 Corporate Sustainability report available at www.aircanada.com/citizensoftheworld.
About Air Canada
Air Canada is Canada's largest airline, the country's flag carrier and a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network. Air Canada provides scheduled service directly to more than 180 airports in Canada, the United States and Internationally on six continents. It holds a Four-Star ranking from Skytrax. Air Canada's Aeroplan program is Canada's premier travel loyalty program, where members can earn or redeem points on the world's largest airline partner network of 45 airlines, plus through an extensive range of merchandise, hotel and car rental rewards. Its freight division, Air Canada Cargo, provides air freight lift and connectivity to hundreds of destinations across six continents using Air Canada's passenger and freighter aircraft. Air Canada has committed to a net zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050. Air Canada shares are publicly traded on the TSX in Canada and the OTCQX in the US.
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SOURCE Air Canada