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2 B.C. service organizations named finalists in Land Rover charity competition

Click to play video: 'Honour House a finalist in Land Rover contest'
Honour House a finalist in Land Rover contest
It is a car race of a different kind, and an organization that supports first responders is asking for the public's help. Honour Ranch offers care for military members and first responders who are suffering from PTSD. But they need to get some new wheels to deliver the services needed buy so many. Julia Foy sets up the rules of the road – Sep 17, 2023

Two B.C. service organizations say they’ve now got a 50-50 chance of winning a Land Rover Defender and a hefty cash prize.

Squamish Search and Rescue (SAR) and Honour House in New Westminster are competing in the Land Rover 2023 Defender Service Awards, a vote-based competition that awards customized Defender 130 vehicles along with US$25,000 to six charities in different categories.

Squamish SAR was one of five nominees in the Search, Rescue & Emergency Support Services category.

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On Monday, Squamish SAR posted to its Instagram account that the team had been informed it was one of the top two finalists in its category, and would be heading to Texas for the final Nov. 11 prize reveal.

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“Your incredible support got us here and we are humbled by it,” the group wrote.

“Our tight-knit community rallied when were against some formidable competitors from down south, and we couldn’t be prouder.”

Last week, the group told Global News the vehicle, which is more capable of accessing backcountry areas, would help them deal with a surge in call volumes, and be available to other SAR teams working in the Sea-to-Sky corridor.

Texas-based search-and-rescue team TEXSAR confirmed on its website that it was the other finalist in the category.

Click to play video: 'Squamish SAR finalists in continent-wide contest'
Squamish SAR finalists in continent-wide contest

Honour House, which provides a place to stay for Canadian Armed Forces members, veterans, emergency service workers and their families while receiving medical treatment, was nominated in the Veteran & Civil Servant Outreach Award category.

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The group wrote on its own Instagram page that it was “thrilled” to announce it had also been named a top-two finisher in its category.

“We can not thank the community enough. Thank you to everybody who voted for us,” the group wrote.

The organization previously told Global News it planned to use the vehicle for its latest project, Honour Ranch in Ashcroft, which helps veterans and first responders receiving treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

The two B.C. teams were among several Canadian organizations nominated in the competition.

The Calgary Veterans Service Society was also nominated in the same category as Honour House.

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Winnipeg-based Manitoba Underdogs Rescue was nominated in the Animal, Wildlife & Marine Welfare Award category, and Community Support Connections from Waterloo, Ont., was nominated in a category for finalists from previous years.

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