Pilots returning to Dexter to benefit Make-A-Wish
DEXTER — For the second year in a row, aircraft will be landing at Lake Wassookeag during the first Saturday of August to benefit Make-A-Wish Maine.
The 2019 “Wings for Wishes on the Waterfront” event will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 3 by Lake Wassookeag. Planes will start arriving at 9:30 a.m., landing in a nearby field and taxiing the short distance to the waterfront, and the public beach will open at 10 a.m. Entry is free and donations for Make-A-Wish Maine are encouraged as pilots will meet with the public.
During the May meeting of the Dexter Town Council, Wings for Wishes on the Waterfront organizer Jim Crane of Exeter said a little more than a year prior he spoke to the council on his participation in the 2017 “Wings 4 Wishes” event as more than a dozen small aircraft landed at Old Orchard Beach to commemorate the 90th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s unexpected landing at the spot in the Spirit of St. Louis and in the process raised thousands of dollars for Make-A-Wish Maine.
“When it was all over with we made over $15,500 for Make-A-Wish Maine,” Crane said as the organization works to create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. He said the fly-in in Old Orchard Beach inspired a similar event in Dexter with aircraft coming to the area and pilots and passengers staying for part of the day and letting the public see their planes.
“It was Aug. 4 last year,” Crane said, mentioning heavy rains that day did limit the number of “Wings for Wishes on the Waterfront” participants and spectators but the event was still a success. “I was really pleased with the support we got, there was probably a couple of hundred but that is just my guess we didn’t keep track,” he said.
Crane said in 2018 the pilots group raised $4,600 for Make-A-Wish Maine and they hope to surpass that total this year. He said the average wish cost is around $2,000.
On the event Facebook page Crane wrote, “Here’s a challenge. The largest single donor of the day at the waterfront can ride out with me in the airplane. Weather permitting of course.”