The Poppy & Star Flight is a nationwide project with 34 volunteer pilots each flying a sector on a 4-week itinerary in the run-up to Anzac Day. They will be carrying two large pieces of knitted artwork that will be added to by the locals at the welcome events in each town.
“These welcome events will be a place where people can come and see what we are doing and why,” said the instigator of the project Melanie Salisbury.
The project will raise funds for the RSA, NZ Warbirds Association, and The Starship Foundation.
“We are gathering hand knitted poppies at each destination from local crafters: these will then be added to our giant poppy and star and flown to the next stop, creating impressive works of art as we go. Donations will be collected along the way, and a welcome party in each destination on the route will await,” said Salisbury.
At the end of the journey, the artworks will be donated to charity, with the star going to The Starship Foundation, and the poppy going to the RSA.
Salisbury is calling on Kiwi’s across Aotearoa to help. “We are in desperate need of those who can crochet or knit that could help create poppies or stars. Every little bit helps, there is no shortage of opportunities for involvement.
“Businesses can get involved too, or those able to help raise funds to support us which could be as simple as a morning tea at the office or weekend car wash,” she said.
The Poppy Flight took off from Ardmore Airport on Friday 26 March with a Harvard aircraft flying to Thames for the first of the welcome events. Over 30 volunteer pilots will each fly a sector on the flight, carrying the poppy and star on to the next destination.
“It’s all about bringing the local community and schools together to raise funds and support those who fought for our freedom, as well as those families whose children are dealing with illness and challenges presently too,” said Salisbury.
The flight will also help keep aviation history alive through the NZ Warbirds Association.
Read edition 1022 of the Wānaka Sun here.