Wouldn’t it be cool to fly a poppy round New Zealand raising money for the RSA?
A few years ago, it was just a passing thought. The sort of thing that someone else organizes. Except that no one else did. So, determined to make it happen, we pulled together a team of volunteers for this ambitious project and chose to remember the past and look ahead to a brighter future.
The Poppy & Star Flight was a major fundraiser bringing together remembrance and hope for the future. It encouraged our children to remember those who fought for our freedom, many of whom who paid the ultimate price, and encouraged them to think about returned service men and women who need our help and support now. It also encouraged them to think about and support children and their families who are dealing with illness and challenges most of us can only imagine. Our collective fundraising helped The RSA and The Starship Foundation continue to provide the care needed in many areas. The Poppy & Star Flight also helped keep our aviation history alive through the NZ Warbirds Association, without whom the flight would not be possible.
Originally planned for the lead up to ANZAC Day 2020 but cancelled the week before departure due to lockdown, the project was moved forward to ANZAC Day 2021
How did it work?
Each day, departing on March 26th 2021, 34 volunteer pilots carried a knitted poppy and star on their flight sector, with the town of arrival hosting a welcome party where the local communities and schools got involved with fundraising at a fun and educational event. There was the opportunity to add poppies and stars to the original small pieces of artwork so that they grew on the way round, showing nationwide support for the charities.
The finished Poppy and Star was presented along with the donations on ANZAC Day 2021.
The Poppy & Star Flight was organised by Melanie and Kevin Salisbury of Aviation Tours NZ, who were happy to give their time freely to the project, with all funds raised going directly to the RSA, the Starship Foundation and NZ Warbirds. There was huge support from many people along the journey giving both time and money to help make the project a success, thank you to all who contributed financially, or with time.
You can see how the journey unfolded and like us on Facebook.
Thank you all for your support.
Kev and Mel Salisbury, Aviation Tours NZ