|By Carmelo Turdo|
Tiffany Nelson, Wings of Hope Director of Programs and Evaluation, who also serves as the Young Ambassadors Liaison, was on site to support the event. An active leader, she works behind the scenes and at each event along with the members to ensure that the Young Ambassadors are successful in their mission. Despite the health crisis over the last year, the Young Ambassadors are still able to fully fund sponsored programs through 2021. As mentioned in our Vote Event story earlier this year, funds raised at this and other Young Ambassadors fundraisers will benefit three international humanitarian aviation programs:
Haiti: Haitian Christian Outreach Air Ambulance Program
Zambia: FlySpec Reconstructive Surgery Services
Ecuador: Alas de Socorro Medevac Flights for Indigenous Communities in the Amazon
"An enormous thanks goes out to the pilots who came out and supported the efforts of Wings of Hope and the Young Ambassadors!" Tiffany Nelson told The Aero Experience. "A special thanks goes to Alpha Eta Rho from Park's College for coming out to support the event by helping us wash the planes. And lastly, a hearty thanks to all of the volunteers who woke up early on a Saturday morning to support the mission of saving and changing lives through the power of aviation."
The Young Ambassadors program supports Wings of Hope's international projects through social, educational and fundraising events. Their mission is to "engage, empower and inspire young professionals aged 21-45 to create cross-cultural connections and help address global problems while building awareness of Wings of Hope." Wings of Hope has provided aviation relief services directly and through partnerships in nearly fifty countries.
Here we feature views from the plane wash event as the teams went to work:
One of the plane wash customers was the Smith family flying in the Beech Musketeer that they won at the Wings of Hope September 2020 raffle. Rachel Smith, her father, Warren Smith and her friend Grant Ross exited the Musketeer outside of the Wings of Hope hangar where it was received in December. Following the plane wash and a reunion of sorts, they departed for their home airport with a very clean Musketeer!
Nobel Peace Prize-nominated Wings of Hope has the vision of "Changing and saving lives through the power of aviation." Wings of Hope has a rich history of using aircraft to provide humanitarian aid to communities in remote places where it is most needed. In 1959, various Catholic ministries started providing humanitarian air services in the Turkana region of Kenya. Not unlike Charles Lindbergh's preparations for the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, Bishop Joseph Houlihan of Eldoret, Kenya approached St. Louis businessmen Bill Edwards, Joe Fabick, Paul Rodgers and George Haddaway about his need for a new aircraft. They then provided the seed money for the first Cessna U206 used by the newly-minted United Missionary Air Training and Transport. As news of this first successful aircraft service spread, more aircraft were needed. Wings of Hope incorporated in 1967, and has since provided humanitarian and development services around the world through an inter-faith approach to serving the needs of all mankind. Today, Wings of Hope continues to emphasize aviation as the means to achieve their mission and partners with local organizations in the countries served.
The Aero Experience is proud to support the mission of Wings of Hope, and we will continue to share their stories throughout the year.