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Santa Takes to the Skies with Special Guests from Canuck Place and Backpack Buddies Program

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, November 30, 2015 – On December 5, ninety children who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to do so, will be given a flight to remember. In the spirit of the holiday season, Santa will be taking to the skies at Vancouver International Airport with families and children from Canuck Place and the Backpack Buddies program.

Initiated five years ago by Joanne Griffiths who wanted to bring smiles to children in need, the annual Santa Flight was lovingly adopted by Jazz Aviation who shared her passion for spreading happiness. The one hundred percent volunteer run program with time and resources donated by employees and partners of Jazz, has made this special day happen each year.

The day starts with children gathering at the YVR South Terminal before they are ushered by Santa into the 50-seat Jazz plane. The one-hour flight takes the children for a scenic flight around Vancouver before returning back to the airport. Back on the ground, Santa hands a gift bag to each of the children before they head home.

“The Santa Flight has become a tradition and something that we all love and cherish,” says Joanne Griffiths, local philanthropist, founding board member of Canuck Place and Executive Director of Community First Foundation that runs Backpack Buddies. “So many of the children have never been on a flight. To see all of their faces light up at the sight of Santa hanging out of the plane moves us all.”

“Jazz Aviation is grateful for the opportunity to work with Joanne Griffiths in bringing smiles to the faces of the children during their flight with Santa.  Every year we are fortunate to have the support of our supplier’s and business partners from the YVR community who volunteer their time and equipment to make this event happen,” says Daryl Hill, lead organizer from Jazz Aviation. “It’s a rewarding experience in which we all look forward to every year.”

Backpack Buddies delivers backpacks of food to the most vulnerable children of Vancouver’s inner city schools. Backpack Buddies focuses on kids helping kids, engaging youth in community and creating an avenue for children of all backgrounds to come together. Canuck Place Canuck Place Children’s Hospice is British Columbia’s recognized pediatric palliative care provider providing care to over 600 children and their families.

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Media contact:
Sonya Hwang, Ki Communications
Ph: (604) 932-0308
Email: sonya@kicommunications.ca