A Short History of Wings of Warmth

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First WOW Flyer In 1989, an idea belonging to Steve Kish, then director of the Mid Atlantic Coupers (Region 6 East of the Ercoupe Owners Club) came to fruition with the first Wings of Warmth fly-in, destination Coatesville, PA. Fred Weick
The First WOW Flyer

unloading at CoatesvilleAlthough holding the event close to Christmas enhanced the giving experience, weather was a problem and so following events were scheduled for early November

The late Fred Weick

As Steve tells the story, the concept entered his mind while watching the news one evening. Media coverage of a plane crash set him to wondering how to get aviation in the news in a more favorable light. The answer came to him in the news item which followed the crash - a human interest story on the poor at Christmas. Of course! Give pilots something to fly for and to besides a cup of coffee, share our wonderful gift with those who cannot keep warm, let alone fly, gain some positive media exposure for a change, and maybe make some friends in the community too.

As the following photos and clippings show, Wings of Warmth "took off", and yes, reporters and editors had lots of fun playing with the words on their headlines. Fred Weick, who designed the Ercoupe and devoted his life to making flying safe and affordable, embodied the spirit of giving and it is hoped that Wings of Warmth will continue as a tribute to his life.

Kutztown Pennsylvania (1990 - 1992)

AeroClub Goddard & new 172 Goddard group 1991 Kutztown collection Clem Beauchemin & Steve Kish with 'Coupe
Aeroclub Goddard's newly acquired C-172 participated in 1990 and ever after. A.G. brought more in 1991. This was the beginnings of the Club's becoming the Maryland nucleus of W.O.W. The Club has collected 1 - 2 thousand pounds of donations each year since 1992. Steve Kish takes a bundle from Clem Beauchemin, who flew to Kutztown PA from Connecticut. EOC members might recognize this photo which made the cover of the Jan. '92 "Capers".
Hueys at Kutztown Kutztown news clipping Atlantic Flyer clipping Lebo & son captured
UH-1's unexpected salute gave WOW volunteers a morale boost on a wet November morning. Everybody got into the act - Army, antique cars, the Mid Atlantic Air Museum's HH-52 - Kutztown was a mini-air show, charity drive, airport open house - all in one. Kurt Lebo (left) was a major factor in the Kutztown WOW's success.
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