Care a lot, Care-A-Van

By Geoff Lee

August 18, 2016 12:00 AM

Clancy Hodgson raised $32,000 in five days to purchase a second Care-A-Van for the Lloydminster Handivan Society. Hodgson is a volunteer driver taking residents to medical appointments on a donation basis.

Generous Lloydministerites help get seniors rolling

The Lloydminster Handivan Society is meeting a growing demand for its Care-A-Van shuttle service with a second vehicle that’s clocked a lot of mileage since June.
The new 2016 Chevy Equinox, and the original 2015 Dodge Caravan that got Care-A-Van rolling in January, are averaging over 30 trips a month from Monday to Friday.
“It’s been very active and we anticipate it will just keep on increasing as more people find out about it,” said Glenn Fagnan, a board member of the Handivan Society.
The vehicles are driven by volunteers to take Lloydminster residents to non emergency out-of-town medical appointments in Edmonton and Saskatoon and points in between.
“We ran into many times when we got two requests for two different cities on the same day,” said Fagnan.
He said in order to fix the problem, some of the drivers like Clancy Hodgson were taking their own personal vehicles and driving people.
Hodgson came up with a eureka solution to try to raise money for a second van.
“I said ‘Clancy you go ahead and do that,’ because I didn’t think anything would really materialized out of it,” said Fagnan.
Miraculously, Hodgson raised more than $32,000 in just five short days from a circle of buddies.
“I have some very generous friends who supported me greatly and they supported the cause,” explained Hodgson, before driving a resident to Saskatoon in the Equinox Tuesday.
“I would like to thank them greatly for their generous donations—they want to remain anonymous.”
The funds were presented to the Lloydminster Health Foundation that purchased the vehicle in its partnership with Care-A-Van from Ulmer Chevrolet Cadillac.
“Ulmer was very instrumental in helping us out with that van; they gave us some pretty good pricing and some really good service to get everything on the go there,” said Fagnan.
“There were excellent to say the least.”
Fagnan said the cost of the Equinox is working out to be between $80 to $100 for fuel and wear and tear per day supported by passenger donations.
“So we have people that are very generous and will give us $250 and then we have others that will give us $5,” he said.
“It’s affordable for anybody who really needs that.”
Fagnan says it’s volunteer drivers like Hodgson that are key to the service with about a dozen signed on to help out 24/7.
“We’ve had drivers that left at 2:30 a.m. to get people down to an appointment,” he said.
So far, the biggest users of Care-A-Van are seniors who have known about its since its inception, and not just seniors who can’t afford other means of getting to medical appointments.
“We have people that have the financial means, but they might be 80 or 90 years old and just don’t feel comfortable driving in Edmonton,” said Fagnan.
“We take people that can’t afford to go as well; we have a wide range of clients.”
Both Care-A-Van vehicles are stored at Handivan’s new base at the Sandstone Centre Truck Wash & Storage.
Handivan also has plants to purchase additional handivans in the future in different areas of transportation as well.
“Our next van will be for those who are mobility challenged,” said Fagnan.
“We need to get a van that can get people with wheelchairs, so we’re going to be looking for some funds for that.”
He cautioned that fundraising is “a tight gig” right now with fires in Fort McMurray earlier this year and the weakness in the economy.
“Dollars haven’t been flowing in as they have in the past,” he said, with no timeframe on the next purchase.

More News

LCSD hosts archbishop

The Lloydminster Catholic School Division (LCSD) had a special guest this week, as Archbishop Richard Smith toured multiple schools. more »

Falk talks first session in House of Commons

Battlefords-Lloydminster member of Parliament Rosemarie Falk is back in her constituency for the summer. She held a summer office open house this week for people to have a tour, drop by for a conversation,… more »

Health council opens channels

We have your back on healthcare. That’s what the Yellowhead East Health Advisory Council (HAC) told local and area residents during its latest meeting at the Lloydminster Hospital on June 20. more »

more »