Air Canada and Dreams Take Flight have announced that they again joined forces "to create an unforgettable experience for children."
In a statement, the airline said, "This year, we will be taking over 120 children on a once-in-a-lifetime journey from Calgary to a theme park in California, all thanks to the generous support of many Air Canada employee volunteers and the Air Canada Foundation. Dreams Take Flight, since its inception in 1989, has provided over 30,000 Canadian children with special needs the opportunity to experience a unique flight. This is the 30th year Dreams Take Flight Calgary has taken place."
On 08OCT, the first Air Canada and Dreams Take Flight from Montreal since 2019 took off with 150 children to Orlando." 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.
The children were accompanied by a team of volunteers, both active and retired employees of Air Canada. This team, comprised of pilots, flight attendants, maintenance engineers, and many other ground and behind-the-scenes staff, selflessly gave their time to provide an opportunity for children dealing with mental, physical, or social hardships. They offered these children a chance to escape their daily struggles, create lasting memories, and discover new possibilities.
"We sometimes wonder what happens once the children return home, what happens to their future, and if we make a difference. Victoria, an 8-year-old on our flight in 2001, said that she and her sister came from a world of black and white," said Julien DeSchutter, Vice-President of Dreams Take Flight Calgary.
"They were living with exposure to drug abuse, alcoholism, and emotional abuse, always trying to find a way to paint their world with colour. Throughout their special day with our volunteers, they started to see that there were so many opportunities in the world. They learned of hope and believed in more than just magic. Victoria explains that shortly after returning home, the colour started to fade, but despite the many challenges she painted her future in vibrant colours. This year, Victoria joins our team of volunteers, adding colour to the world of the 120 kids on our flight."
"2023 is special for Dreams Take Flight Montreal. It's special because we finally return to our business, the business of putting smiles on children's faces. This year will be our first post-COVID flight, full of start-up challenges. But, due to the dedication of our volunteers, our team has overcome the problems and organized the trip of a lifetime for 150 special needs children. These children, from all over Quebec, will enjoy an unforgettable magical trip, on November 8, in Florida," said Brian Roscoe, President Dreams Take Flight Montreal.
On 19SEP Open Jaw reported that Air Canada and Dreams Take Flight transported 119 children on a "trip-of-a-lifetime" from Vancouver (YVR) to a California theme park.
The last Dreams Take Flight flight for 2023 will depart from Ottawa on November 14.
Annually, 1,700 kids embark on an unforgettable journey to a theme park in Florida or California. This year, two more flights are scheduled from Montreal and Ottawa. Earlier in the year, flights from Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Halifax and Vancouver took place under the Dreams initiative.
More information on Air Canada's website.