Media Release

London ‘Katie’s Bears’ Heading for Wild Blue Yonder

Date: Thursday, August 30, 2018


AIRSHOW LONDON and the Children’s Health Foundation today took off with plans to send bears flying.  Code named ‘Katie’s Bears’ the project will see 30 stuffed bears become crew members for Canadian and U S military, travel the world and report back to London.

The bears are named in memory of Kaitlin Vanderhoek, daughter of AIRSHOW LONDON’S Director of Flight Operations – Gerry Vanderhoek.  Kaitlin and her father shared a love of aircraft and airshows.  Gerry says supporting the Children’s Health Foundation and finding ways to make other kids lives a little brighter is part of Katie’s legacy. While a total of 350 bears will be distributed to children in AIRSHOW LONDON’S Katie’s Corner next weekend, 30 of them will be heading into the wild blue yonder with air crews from around North America.

As the crew members document their travels in photos and share pictures on a website – – and social media the children who are undergoing medical challenges and treatment will be watching the adventures. Their escapades will be seen worldwide and clearly illustrate that if bears can fly ‘anything is possible’.

The project is part of an ongoing relationship between AIRSHOW LONDON and Children’s Health Foundation.  The purchase of the bears was made possible by Siskinds.

The bears will be paired with their respective crews during a VIP and ASL Awards night next Saturday.  On the Monday morning, following the show, the bears will strap in at takeoff for the journey of a lifetime.

Mayor Matt Brown joined the event today and believes the project is a perfect example of how Londoners come together to do the most amazing things – for the right reasons. John Winston, General Manager of Tourism London, Sara Steers, Director of Philanthropy at the Children’s Health Foundation, Jim Graham, Board Chair for ASL and Dave De Kelver, the shows executive director were also on hand to share their excitement for this initiative.

Anyone wishing to follow Katie’s Bears can go to the website – links for social media will be posted too.



Contact:  Dave De Kelver – Executive Director – 519-777-7502

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