By Glenn Osmond.
Girls Take Flight
On April 27, 2019 several members from the CARES Niagara Zone based out of St. Catharines maintained a CASARA booth at the “Girls Take Flight” event at the Oshawa Executive Airport. Original plans to also have a static display (C182 – PJO) on the apron had to be cancelled due to inclement weather conditions.
The Zone used the opportunity as a SAR Awareness event to raise the profile of CASARA and our role within the SAR community. Also, not unlike the aviation industry in general, female participants are under-represented in CASARA so the occasion was also used to promote our efforts to attract and retain more female members. This event served both goals.
Organizers reported just in excess of 1,000 attendees at the event. It is estimated that between 150 and 200 people dropped by the booth to either collect literature on display and/or to ask questions about the organization. It is estimated at least twenty-five people expressed a keen interest in learning more about the organization with the possibility of joining, some of whom were female. At least twenty parents introduced their daughters to SAR.
It is also worth noting that our location beside the Canadian Forces Recruiting booth and the Air Cadet Gliding programme also proved useful in drawing attention to the booth and served to highlight the strong association with our military partners. 424 Squadron had a static display (Griffon) on the ramp throughout the day. The Griffon crew, Captain Stef Pouliot and Major Chris Herten, took some time early in the day to drop by and say hello.
CASARA members who attended felt the event was certainly time will spent in serving one of our mandates – promoting SAR awareness and the organization in general to all who attended, particularly young women who were considering a career in aviation.