WESTERN MANITOULIN – 2019 is in the books as another successful year for the Angel Bus. As most of you reading this already know, the Angel Bus is a wheelchair accessible van owned by Manitoulin Lodge Auxiliary Inc. (independent of Jarlette Health Services and Manitoulin Lodge Nursing Home), a registered charity since 2002. The first Angel Bus hit the road in 2015 and was replaced by the current bus in 2016.
All the board and drivers for the Angel Bus are volunteers, which means that 100 percent of monies donated go toward the operation of the bus, an Angel Bus operating committee release notes. There are approximately two outings per week allowing qualified adults to get to medical, dental, vision, hearing appointments as well as church, picnics, community choir concerts and other social outings. “We travel as far as Sudbury, but the majority of runs are on the Island.”
The bus services a catchment area of approximately from Providence Bay through to M’Chigeeng and west. “While most of the trips involve residents of Manitoulin Lodge, we occasionally have requests from the general public and would welcome more of these.” The press release continues.
To qualify, a person must be an adult and have difficulty getting into a regular vehicle. A companion to look after the riders’ needs allows the driver to focus on the road must accompany all passengers.
If you feel you qualify or know of someone who would benefit from this service please call Shirley, dispatcher, at 705-282-7732.
This is a free service but donations are always welcome. To donate, you can send a cheque made out to the Angel Bus and mailed to The Angel Bus, PO Box 457, Gore Bay POP IHO.
The operating costs for the bus average $16,000 dollars per year. Without the support of churches, service clubs and local businesses as well as citizen donations the Angel Bus could not continue. Those who have seen the bus out and about will notice a number of logos on the bus. Each of these logos represents a minimum donation of $1,000.
This year The Rotary Club of Gore Bay made the first $1,000 donation.
“We sincerely hope that all of our logo supporters will once again renew, as they are vital to our continued success,” the press release states. “If you would like your business name on the bus please contact Ted (Kilpatrick) at 705-282-8876. In conclusion, we would like to thank all of you who continue to support the Angel Bus.”