Kootenay-based Save-On-Foods store managers present Brent Bidston (middle) with a $19,000 cheque for Angel Flight East Kootenay.

Kootenay-based Save-On-Foods store managers present Brent Bidston (middle) with a $19,000 cheque for Angel Flight East Kootenay.

Kootenay Save-On-Foods stores raise $19,000 for medical transport service

Angel Flight East Kootenay is a volunteer medical transport service based in the Elk Valley

Save-On-Foods locations across the region banded together to help raise over $19,000 for a volunteer medical transport service that takes clients to hospital appointments in Kelowna at no cost.

A cheque was presented to Brent Bidston, the co-founder of Angel Flights East Kootenay, by regional Save-On-Foods representatives from Sparwood, Fernie, Creston, Golden and Kimberley in Cranbrook.

The donation, roughly $7,000 above the goal, will be a significant financial boost for the Elk-Valley based non-profit organization, said Bidston.

“It’s an absolutely huge bonus, financially, which ensures that we will continue providing the service for quite some time, but it’s also a huge benefit in the fact they [Save-On-Foods] spread the word so well,” said Bidston. “And as a result, we are getting more calls from people who are offering to do some fundraising for us as well as getting the world out to our potential clients.”

WATCH: Medical transport service celebrates historic first flight

Bidston, a retired airline pilot with Korean Air, has been working with Angel Flight East Kootenay co-founder Todd Weselake since the beginning of the year to get the service off the ground.

So far this year, they’ve made seven return flights to Kelowna for people who face transportation challenges. Oftentimes, medical appointments only last less than 30 minutes, when a return trip by car can take 14 hours or more.

For Angel Flight East Kootenay, a trip out of Cranbrook to Kelowna takes roughly an hour each way.

Bidston lauded the Save-On-Foods fundraising campaign, noting that while the money is important to keep the service alive, it also helped spread the word that the service exists and is available for those who may experience transportation challenges for faraway medical appointments.

“We have a steady flow of requests, but we are concerned that not enough people are aware of the service yet, which is why Save-On-Foods spreading the word was so valuable for us,” Bidston added.

For more information about Angel Flight East Kooteany, visit their website.



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An Interior Health nurse administers Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. Photo: Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News
Interior Health opens up vaccine eligibility in Columbia Valley to 18 years or older

Only local residents can register and book appointments as COVID-19 case counts spike in the region

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

The Rec 9 and driving range are open at Bootleg Gap in Kimberley. Full course opens April 30.
Two Kimberley golf courses open for season

Purcell and Bootleg Gap are partially open today, Trickle Creek May 7

Kimberley is developing a policy on short term rentals. Air BnB screenshot.
Kimberley is developing a policy on short term rentals

The City of Kimberley is continuing the process of adopting a strategy… Continue reading

Interior Health nurses administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
69 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The total number of cases in the region is now at 9,840 since the pandemic began

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Most Read