Pilots to help complete children’s home in the Bahamas

Volunteer pilots will be flying to Eleuthera in the Bahamas this month to complete the final stages of a home for abused children. The semi-annual Fly In & Help Out Event, to be held on Thursday, Feb. 16 through Sunday, Feb. 19, serves as an introduction to international mission flying and provides hands on experience with ongoing projects in The Bahamas, according to officials with Bahamas Habitat, which is sponsoring the event.

All pilots are invited to join this special event to hone their international mission flying skills. Typically, more than 40 people in more than a dozen aircraft make the trip, officials note, adding they expect this event to be even larger due to the excitement surrounding finishing the children’s home.

Construction of the Zion Children’s Home on Current Island began in the fall of 2010 because of the dream of two sisters who wanted to help many abused children. Thanks to support from Bahamas Habitat donors and the local Bahamas church and government, the dream is becoming a reality. Volunteer pilots at the February Fly-In & Help Out Event will transport supplies and focus efforts on completing the first two buildings of the children’s home to provide care and safety for 16 abused or orphaned children.

With the children’s home in the final stages of preparation for the grand opening, it’s not too late to get involved. Supplies are still needed to furnish the kitchen. A gift registry was set up at Bed Bath & Beyond using the first name Zion and last name Children with instructions on how to ship the purchased items directly to a Bahamas Habitat Florida hub for transport during the upcoming Fly-In & Help Out Event.

The weekend mission begins at Showalter Flying Service in Orlando, Florida, with a special Award & Recognition Luncheon on Feb. 16. The Holland & Knight Foundation, a law firm based in Chicago, with locations spanning the globe, will attend the luncheon to present a $6,000 check to further the mission of Bahamas Habitat. The donation will go toward purchasing necessary supplies to help complete and furnish the Zion Children’s Home along with other mission projects.

Bahamas Habitat will also present an award to Bob Showalter and the Showalter Flying Team for their generous support and service to the organization. They have provided much needed hanger space to house aircraft as well as stored supplies that are in route to The Bahamas for Zion Children’s Home and other relief work, officials said.

“Bob and his team have been such a tremendous blessing to Bahamas Habitat,” states John Armstrong, President & Chairman of Bahamas Habitat. “We are delighted to be able to recognize Bob and the entire Showalter team for all they have done.”

Mission pilots will receive flight briefings and assistance with paperwork and pre-flight planning. Takeoffs for the Governor’s Harbor Bahamas will commence after lunch and the group will be met by the staff of Camp Symonette, the organization’s 60-bed camp on Eleuthera. All lodging, food, transportation and activities are arranged for participants. Pilots will launch for their return flights to the US on Sunday morning. For pre-flight planning the organization offers an online international Pilot Briefing as well as a form to sign up for the event information at BahamasHabitat.org. Tax deductible donations can also be made on the website.



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