Ronnie Ward, left, and Keith Harrell instruct 12-year-old Parker Bono in the intricacies of flying a radio-control aircraft at the National Model Aviation Day celebration held by the Hampton Roads RC Club.
Ronnie Ward, left, and Keith Harrell instruct 12-year-old Parker Bono in the intricacies of flying a radio-control aircraft at the National Model Aviation Day celebration held by the Hampton Roads RC Club.

Event raises planes, money

Published 8:36pm Saturday, August 17, 2013

Wind and drizzling rain didn’t make it a great day for flying, but that didn’t stop dozens of folks from visiting the Hampton Roads RC Club’s fundraiser on Saturday.

Though the fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project ended earlier than planned, visitors still had plenty of fun and raised money for the project.

“The weather’s been a challenge, no doubt about it,” said Chris Weeks, a member of the radio-control airplane club.

The food was served up early to get it in ahead of the rain, and planes zipped back and forth across the sky near the club’s Lone Star Lakes landing field.

The Academy of Model Aeronautics sponsored the National Model Aviation Day and encouraged clubs to support the Wounded Warrior Project through the events.

Weeks said Virginia and Michigan tied for the states with the highest number of clubs participating. Locally, the Hampton Roads RC Club and the Newport News Park Radio Control Club participated.

Money from concession sales, landing fees and a raffle at the Lone Star Lakes event helped support the Wounded Warrior Project.

The event also attracted guests.

Mike Bono and his son Parker, 12, came out after seeing a flier for the event at the Eagle Hobby Shop in Chuckatuck. Parker, who has some experience flying the planes, used a “buddy box” to fly while an experienced member stood by to rescue the plane if Parker made a serious mistake — but it wasn’t needed.

“Every single person we’ve met has been incredibly nice and welcoming,” Bono said. “It’s very nice.”

He said the cause as well as the fun attracted them to the event.

Patty Weeks came along with her husband and met all the club members she’s heard about.

“My husband flies, but we don’t ever get to see him fly except for small planes,” she said. “This is very cool. It’s phenomenal that it’s not age specific.”

She referenced the fact that several club members are in their 80s, while other participants are children.

Club member Bob Howell said the club was one of 117 out of 2,400 in the country participating in the fundraiser.

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