The Timber Hitch Coffee Shop and Drive Thru raised $4200 for Angel Flight East Kootenay in a Valentines Day gift basket fundraiser.
“It’s fantastic for us,” said Angel Flight co-founder and pilot Brent Bidston said. “People have supported us very, very well.”
Angel Flight is 100 per cent volunteer-run registered charity, that depends entirely on contributions such as this. This size of a donation will pay for at least eight people to fly to and from Kelowna for treatment.
“It was completely unexpected,” Bidston said. “We had carried Brenda’s relative, but we had no idea; we don’t expect any payment ever. They decided to do this completely on their own which was fantastic and it worked out really well.”
Timber Hitch co-owner Brenda Bannister said previously that she realized what a valuable asset Angel Flight is to the community after she and her husband had a family member flown to Kelowna.
Bidston said that his service runs all year round has been keeping very busy over the winter months, though the weather in the winter can be challenging for them.
He said they are working on addressing that concern, potentially looking into getting a new aircraft, though it’s still an unknown.
“We did hear recently from our medical director that even less patients are being accepted into Alberta now, so we are expecting demand may well increase,” Bidston said.
To meet the increased demand, Angel Flight is now offering service to both Kelowna and Trail.
“We have found that patients with pacemakers and with renal problems are now having to go to Trail, so we are offering Trail as well now,” Bidston said.
Bannister said that the gift basket, valued at over $1000, was created with donations from the following Kimberley businesses:
Timber mart, Petro Can, Sole to Soul, Meat Matters, Bootleg Golf Course, Sullivan Pub, Bavarian Home Hardware, Grubstake Pizza, Off The Hook’s Kim Kavanagh, Mark Creek Market, Save-On-Foods, Blush — Kootenay Design, Crazy’s Sharpening Shack, Royal Bank Kimberley, La Lune Candy Shoppe and Jean Terpsma.