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The public is invited to participate in the 3rd Annual Spirit of Wisconsin Golf Tournament on June 18 at SentryWorld Golf Course, 601 N. Michigan Ave. in Stevens Point. The event is hosted by Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation (AADF) and Stevens Point resident David Lamken. Registration for the four-person scramble begins at 11:30 a.m., with a shotgun start at 1:00 p.m. Dinner for golfers and Fly-In participants starts at 6:30 p.m.
This year’s golf tournament marks the completion of a successful fundraising campaign led by local volunteers in the Stevens Point and Waupaca-area communities on behalf of AADF. Proceeds from the golf outing helped AADF purchase a fourth Stearman biplane, called the Spirit of Wisconsin, to give Dream Flights to veterans living in long-term care communities in the Midwest. The 1943 Stearman will be based at Stevens Point Municipal Airport.
“In two years, we raised just over $125,000 on behalf of AADF to purchase a 1943 Stearman biplane,” said Lamken. He said proceeds from this year’s golf outing will help cover the costs associated with Spirit of Wisconsin Dream Flights and plane maintenance, which are estimated at about $25,000 annually.
Cost is $150 per golfer – there’s a 30-foursome limit – and covers all golf fees for the 18-hole course, including a golf cart, complimentary range balls, hole flag events and raffle prizes, a $10 gift card from SentryWorld Pro Shop, dinner, and three drink tickets. Those interested in attending dinner only can do so for $40 per person. The top two finishing teams will attend the Fly-In dinner and receive awards.
Gold Sponsorship opportunities are available for $2,500 each and include one golf foursome, dinner, and the company name listed as Gold Sponsor on the event banner. Additional sponsorship opportunities ranging from $300-$1,500 are also available. For more information, contact David Lamken at 608-334-5760 or
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More about the Spirit of Wisconsin
On June 19 at Stevens Point Municipal Airport, AADF will dedicate the Spirit of Wisconsin and kick off a state-wide Dream Flight tour. Stevens Point Municipal Airport is fitting, said Darryl Fisher, founder and president of AADF, since this is where Lamken’s father, Eddie Lamken, first experienced the magic of a Dream Flight in 2015.
“Eddie’s experience inspired an entire community to embrace our mission of giving back to those who have given. We are humbled and grateful for the gracious and generous support the good people in Wisconsin continue to give our foundation,” said Fisher.
Lamken initiated and managed the fundraising efforts after seeing how life-changing the Dream Flight was for his dad and family. “In 2015, my dad had pulled away from life, resigned himself to a wheelchair, and basically gave up. When it came to his turn on the day of the flight, I was unsure if he’d be able to climb into the plane or if he would shut down with fear.”
With the help of Fisher and the crew, he climbed aboard the plane. Eddie didn’t know it, but Dave had arranged for Fisher to fly over Eddie’s boyhood farm about 20 miles from the airport. About half an hour after take-off, the blue and yellow Stearman appeared over the horizon and made a smooth landing. Taxiing back to the hangar apron, Dave could see that Eddie was still waving and smiling ear-to-ear.
“With very little assistance, my dad climbed out of the cockpit, down the wing, down the stepladder and, as he stood there with his cane, he was so happy he started to cry,” said Lamken. “I had the wheelchair there, so he sat down and spoke with the newspapers, did TV interviews and remarked that he was overwhelmed by getting to fly over his boyhood farm. That was the last time my father used a wheelchair.”
A 20-minute flight in the open skies does wonders for the spirit, said Fisher. “After a Dream Flight, veterans share stories never before shared with family members; they’re smiling ear to ear and have a renewed spring in their step. Family members tell us they talk about the experience for weeks after and keep the photo of themselves standing with our pilot and the Stearman nearby so they can see it.
For more information about Ageless Aviation or the Spirit of Wisconsin, visit.
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