A fundraising campaign is underway that aims to create a scholarship memorializing Capt. Kevin Hagen, a Nanaimo-born Canadian Armed Forces pilot who died in a helicopter crash earlier this year.
Hagen, 30, was one of six Canadian Armed Forces members who were killed when the CH-148 Cyclone helicopter they were travelling in crashed into the Mediterranean Sea near Greece on April 29. Capt. Brenden Ian MacDonald, Capt. Maxime Miron-Morin, Sub-Lt. Matthew Pyke, Sub-Lt. Abbigail Cowbrough, and Master Cpl. Matthew Cousins were also killed in the crash.
Hagen’s remains returned home to Vancouver Island and were escorted by military and civilian dignitaries in a police-escorted motorcade on Saturday.
A GoFundMe campaign aiming to raise $15,000 to establish the Kevin Hagen Memorial Flying Scholarship was created days after the crash. Organized by family, friends and former Royal Military College classmates, the campaign has managed to raise $9,820 so far. The scholarship is being organized in collaboration with Hagen’s former air cadet squadron, the 848 Royal Roads Squadron.
“The initial objective of this fundraising is to raise enough funds for 1x license. Should there be additional funds available, additional scholarships could be entertained, as well as other memorial efforts, to include memorial efforts in remembrance of the other five Canadian Armed Forces members who perished in the CH-148 Cyclone crash,” the GoFundMe page reads.
Hagen was born in Nanaimo but spent time in Ladysmith, Quadra Island, and Victoria. He graduated from Lambrick Park Secondary in 2007.
The relatively new helicopter that Hagen and five other Canadian Armed Forces members were travelling on was returning to the Halifax-based frigate HMCS Fredericton following a NATO training mission when it crashed into the sea.
To donate to the fundraiser, visit www.gofundme.com/f/kevin-hagen-memorial-flying-schoolarship-rmc-03911/.