- First Dreams Take Flight from Ottawa since 2019
- Last of eight flights of 2023 from across Canada
- Every year, Air Canada and Dreams Take Flight take children facing different challenges on the trip-of-a-lifetime
MONTREAL, Nov. 14, 2023 /CNW/ - This morning, for the first time since 2019, Air Canada and Dreams Take Flight departed Ottawa for Orlando with 145 children on board to experience the trip-of-a-lifetime. With the help of Air Canada employee volunteers, support of the Air Canada Foundation, and the work by the Dreams Take Flight organization, eight flights operate annually, providing over 1,000 children each year with an unforgettable day at a theme park in Florida or California.
Accompanied by a crew of current and retired Air Canada employee volunteers, the flight took off in the early hours of the morning taking kids facing mental, physical, emotional or social adversity to a theme park in Florida. By generously donating their time, pilots, flight attendants, maintenance engineers, and numerous other employees and volunteers on the ground and behind the scenes offer these children the chance to take a break from their everyday to make memories and discover new possibilities.
"The children on our flights come from various difficult backgrounds. Some have experienced many doctor's appointments, hospital visits, deaths of family members, in and out of foster homes, looking after their siblings, just to name a few. While they get to experience a day at the most magical place on earth with Dreams Take Flight Ottawa, it allows them to be a kid for the day. They often start the day shy and full of worries. While at the park, the volunteers see them blossom. We see them smile as they meet their favourite characters, laugh at the thrill of a rollercoaster ride, experience what Disney does best, creating magical memories that will last a lifetime. For volunteers, seeing the change in these kids is why many of our volunteers return each year. It's to give the kids exactly what they deserve. A day to get away to have fun and leave all their worries behind them," said Angela Guy, President of Dreams Take Flight Ottawa.
The Dreams Take Flight Ottawa Flight Day was the last of 2023. Dreams Take Flight also sees trips take place from Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax.
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.
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 2022 impact report or the Air Canada's 2022 Corporate Sustainability report available at www.aircanada.com/citizensoftheworld.
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 OCTQX in the US.
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SOURCE Air Canada