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Jan 13, 2015, 10:45 AM
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Flying with a Cause

At ServoCity, we’re super lucky to have the opportunity to support various organizations, schools, projects and events. Some of our favorites include the multitude of R/C events across the country. Every year our team at ServoCity lays out the schedule for upcoming fly-ins, racing leagues, and robot competitions. Even more exciting, is when we see these events raise support for local and national charities. One such event is Wings for Wishes over Washington through the Miniature Aircraft Association. Clark Hymas, RC pilot and club member was kind enough to give us a better insight of the importance of Wings for Wishes and the role his club plays in raising funds.

Just a little background information on the Miniature Aircraft Association. It was founded in 1994. The ground is “Leased” at no cost other than upkeep from the Benton County Parks Association. (If you google Higgins Field it will take you right to us). The club started by flying off of what is know as dryer belt, similar to Geotex. Through the years the club managed to pave the runway, drill a well, and add an underground sprinkler system.

I became a member of the club in 2011 after being out of the hobby since the mid 90’s. Wings for Wishes wasn’t my idea. I heard about a Wings for Wishes event that was done in Montana in 2011 and is an event designed to raise funds for Make-A-Wish. I contacted Eric Kendall, the event organizer, and asked what his thoughts were about us doing a similar event in southeast Washington. Eric was very supportive so I approached the club’s board of directors and asked if they would mind me putting on this event. 2012 was the first Wings for Wishes at Higgins Field. I had no idea how it would go over, how many people would attend, or what to expect. We ended up with 25 pilots and raised $4,200 our first year! 2014 was the third year for the event, just shy of 50 pilots and raised $7,200. 2015 is going to be the best year yet with 39 pilots already committed to attend. The event is run as a fly what you bring type of event. We have P-Hucksters, “Those Guys”, some IMAC pilots, warbird pilots, and helicopter / quad copter pilots that all attend and are all able to fly without interference of one another and all knowing that we are doing this for a worthy cause.

This particular event for the Washington chapter of Wings for Wishes has raised over $18,000 for Make-A-Wish, granted three wishes, and referred three children to be granted wishes. It makes all the hard work and effort worth while when you hear the stories of how one child’s wish granted by Make-A-Wish changed the life of that child and their family.

This year’s Wings for Wishes is scheduled for the 29th through the 31st of May. After three years running and now on the fourth year, it is now somewhat expected that we will put this event on. It has grown to where we have people traveling from Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Canada to attend the event. This year we will have two light plants on sight for night flying and are already taking reservations for camping and parking.

Even though this event is zero net profit for the club, it is one of the highest supported events by club members. We lease our field from Benton County Park Association. By doing this and giving back to the community we have gained considerable support from them as well and have just signed a long term 20 year lease.

We wish Clark and the Miniature Aircraft Association best of luck with their Wings for Wishes and happy flying! To learn more about the Miniature Aircraft Association and their involvement with Wings for Wishes please visit their website. Photos are provided by the MAA.

Originally posted on 1/8/15:
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