I am always giving you reminders about raising money for the Freedom-to-Fly Fund and dropping hints about little ways to raise money, like putting the coffee can out for donations at all COPA Flight events. Such fund raising and bringing pilots together go hand in hand, or they should at least.
Not long ago two pilots and two spouses were sitting around enjoying a glass of wine and discussing ways to promote more flying activity at a nearby grass roots aerodrome. Mine in fact.
Flying somewhere for breakfast, lunch or just a slice of pie has long been a weekend tradition for many of us pilots. You frequently read about such endeavours in the pages of COPA Flight. This usually involves a group flying to some airport which is within walking distance of a restaurant. Some even have a restaurant on the airport. Around my area there is a favourite aerodrome only a short walk from two restaurants that serve delicious home made pies and has become a very popular spot on Saturdays.
The wine sipping quartette, having just finished enjoying some delicious pie, came up with the idea of turning the fly-forpie scenario around and putting on a flyfor-pie fly-in event. This was sure to bring some pilots together and presented an opportunity to raise money for the Freedom-to-Fly Fund. The plan was hatched.
We knew a lady who was a master pie baker and agreed to produce a selection of home made pies for the occasion. She charged us the going rate for commercial pies, but the value was considerably enhanced by her excellent home baking skills. Once the source of supply was established we picked a day and set about sending out notices.
Fly-For-Pie — Chestermere-Kirkby Field – Sunday, September 25th – A big slice of home-made pie and ice cream and coffee - $5 – Proceeds to the COPA Freedom-to-Fly Fund.
Not knowing what to expect, we planned for 100 slices of pie and ice cream. We had five different varieties and lots of coffee. The weather turned out perfect for a fly-in so by 0800 we were set up and ready for the first arrivals.
At our annual fly-in breakfast everyone seems to arrive within the first hour or so. When no airplanes showed by 0930 we were getting worried. But then they started to arrive, one by one from all directions. I guess 0800 is too early for pie. Lesson learned for next time.
The event turned out to be a success for our first try. We served over 80 slices of pie to a bunch of appreciative folks who arrived in 20 aircraft, 10 cars and 2 motorcycles. Some purchased whole pies and there was a little left over for the organizers.
At the end of the day the net proceeds for the Freedom-to-Fly Fund were $305 and we all agreed we would do it again in the spring. Except for the pie baker this event was a lot easier to organize and put on than a breakfast.
Meanwhile, keep your prop spinning.