By Jason A. Smith
A new charitable effort is expected to take flight in Henry County next week, as a group of area children raise money for a local children's shelter.
The Henry County Radio Control Club is sponsoring what is being called a Charity Fun Fly event Sept. 20, from 10 a.m., to 4 p.m. All proceeds from the fund-raiser will benefit Noah's Ark Animal Rehabilitation Center and Children's Care Home in Locust Grove.
Wes Walton is the president of the club, which has 150 members, ranging in age from 10 to 16 years old. The kids, he said, share an affinity for flying radio-controlled airplanes and helicopters, and wanted to use their passion to benefit others in the community.
"For a couple of years, we have been looking to sponsor a charitable organization in Henry County," he said. "Some of the members recommended Noah's Ark, so I did research and found out what they do for abused children."
Club members voted in July to schedule the event, which will be held at a field on Henry Parkway in McDonough, across from the Henry County Jail.
Walton, whose 14-year-old son, Joe, will serve as one of the hosts for the event, said the group is planning to generate funds for the shelter in a number of ways during the Fun Fly. "The club is putting up $1,000," he said. "There will be a $10 landing fee for registered pilots, and we will ask for donations."
Lunch will be available during the fund-raiser for $5. The occasion will also include a silent auction, wherein attendees will have an opportunity to donate used aircraft and tools used as part of the hobby.
Representatives from the Civil Air Patrol in Griffin, as well as the Henry County police and fire departments, are scheduled to be on hand, said Walton.
Diane Smith, assistant to Noah's Ark Director Jama Hedgecoth, said the staff and leadership at the shelter are appreciative of the club's generosity. "Of course, we were touched that they wanted to [hold the event]," she said. "I think it speaks very highly of the community."
The Fun Fly is the latest in a number of fund-raisers organized by various organizations in the county. Past events have included motorcycle rides and car shows, which have generated thousands of dollars for the non-profit facility.
Smith added that the shelter staff appreciates the giving spirit exhibited by individuals in Henry, many of whom call the shelter regularly, asking how they can contribute their time, money and talents.
"While they can't be here on a daily basis to feed the animals or wipe a child's runny nose, they make what we do possible through giving," she said.
For more information on the Fun Fly, call Wes Walton at (770) 550-11695, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.