This year’s Wings of Mercy Runway 5K is set for Saturday, June 6. The 5K race and one-mile fun run/walk will be hosted at Price’s Airport of Linden.
The event will be a twilight race along the runway and taxiways of Price’s Airport. This unique 5K race benefits Wings of Mercy East Michigan, Inc., which provides free air transportation in General Aviation Aircraft for patients with limited incomes needing treatment at medical centers within 600 miles of eastern Michigan.
On-site registration will take place on Friday, June 5 from 4 to 7 p.m. and on Saturday, June 6 from 12 to 7 p.m. Online registration is also available atwww.runsignup.com/wingsofmercy5k.
The event will kick-off at 7:45 p.m. on Saturday on airport grounds. The one-mile fun run/walk is from 8 to 8:45 p.m. The 5K race will begin at 9 p.m. Awards will be given out afterward.
In addition to seeking runners for the event, organizers are also seeking sponsorships of various levels. To find out more, go to www.wingsofmercyrunway5k.org.
About Wings of Mercy
In 1991, a group of committed and compassionate pilots met in Holland, Michigan to organize what became Wings of Mercy, Inc. Their purpose was to offer air transport at no cost to financially needy persons from eastern Michigan who required specialized medical treatment at distant medical centers. Early on, it became clear that the need was far greater than expected. Based on experience, upward of 80 percent of their clients would not be able to receive specialized medical treatment if this service was not available. Newspaper, radio and television coverage helped to expand the service. Soon, other aircraft owners volunteered their aircraft at locations throughout western Michigan.
In 1996, another group of committed and compassionate pilots in the Midland, Saginaw and Bay City area contacted Wings of Mercy for assistance in organizing a group to provide similar services for the residents of eastern Michigan. This effort grew into Wings of Mercy East Michigan.
How Wings of Mercy works
All services are performed by volunteers. Aircraft owners/operators are reimbursed for fuel only, which represents only about 1/3 of the actual cost of operating an aircraft, and many refuse even that. Wings of Mercy East Michigan is funded entirely by charitable contributions. Since there are no paid staff, 100 percent of donations fund operations. Overhead for Wings of Mercy is confined to fuel reimbursements and direct office expenses for mission management (phone/fax, postage, paper, etc.). Wings of Mercy does not compete with commercial airlines, which their patients/clients cannot afford, or with air ambulance services, which are reserved for more critically ill persons.