Stephanie Quiroz/staff photos
                                Covenant Living at the Shores residents and staff with Ageless Aviation pilot and team at the Renton Municipal Airport on Aug. 12.

Stephanie Quiroz/staff photos Covenant Living at the Shores residents and staff with Ageless Aviation pilot and team at the Renton Municipal Airport on Aug. 12.

Covenant Living at the Shores Residents take flight

Tom Norris, Sid Boegl, Doug Wilkinson, and Jack Nelson take flight in a 1942 Boeing Stearman.

On the sunny morning of Aug. 12, four Covenant Living at the Shores residents took off from the Renton Municipal Airport on Dream Flights in a 1942 Boeing Stearman biplane.

Tom Norris (84), Sid Boegl (85), Doug Wilkinson (85) and Jack Nelson (83) each rode in the cockpit of the biplane and took off with smiling faces. The Boeing Stearman was used to train military aviators in the late thirties and early forties. All four residents are U.S. military veterans.

The flights were courtesy of Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation. The nonprofit organization was founded by Darryl Fischer in 2011 to honor U.S. military veterans living in long-term care facilities like Covenant Living. Its mission to “give back to those who have given” is fulfilled by a team of volunteer pilots and crew members.

According to resident services director Roxanne Helleren, this is the fifth year Covenant Living has taken veteran residents on a flight with Ageless Aviation.

“It’s so incredible to be a part of this,” Helleren said. “What really sticks out to me is the generational (gap) between the pilots… the conversation between them, I think that is special. It makes the (residents) feel that their experience years ago was valued and these younger people cared to ask about it.”

Wilkinson, Lt. JG, United States Navy (1956-57), said he was excited to ride in the cockpit.

“I’ve never done this,” he said. “Expectations… this is wonderful. What a privilege to be able to do this.”

Wilkinson served on the USS Brown, a Fletcher-class destroyer, as the main propulsion assistant and then transferred to the USS William Seiverling as an engineering officer.

Ageless Aviation has provided nearly 4,000 Dream Flights to veterans and older adults nationwide. The Dreams Foundation is dedicated to every senior, living and deceased.

Jack Nelson, 83, ready to take flight in the 1942 Boeing Stearman on Aug. 12.

Jack Nelson, 83, ready to take flight in the 1942 Boeing Stearman on Aug. 12.

Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation team members help Jack Nelson get settled in the cockpit on Aug. 12. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo

Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation team members help Jack Nelson get settled in the cockpit on Aug. 12. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo

Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation team members help Jack Nelson get settled in the cockpit on Aug. 12. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo

Jack Nelson (left) and Doug Wilkinson take a look at the 1942 Boeing Stearman biplane on Aug. 12.

Jack Nelson (left) and Doug Wilkinson take a look at the 1942 Boeing Stearman biplane on Aug. 12.

[flipp]

More in Life

Eat this not that this holiday season | Health

A monthly health column from a local naturopathic health care provider.

Turkeys Nonni, Noelle, November and Nora at Rooster Haus Rescue in Fall City. Natalie DeFord/staff photo
Turkey rescue

The bird’s not on the Thanksgiving menu at this Fall City sanctuary.

Marlin “Zip” Zuther, a veteran from Mercer Island experiences the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Photo by Greg Asimakoupoulos
‘Mr. Lincoln, I’ve been thinkin’’ | On Faith

A monthly column regarding matters of faith.

How much youth sports is too much? | Dear YFS

A monthly advice column about issues faced by Islanders.

Lakeridge Elementary honors its veterans

Hundreds of students gather in celebration.

Staying fit through the holidays

A monthly column about natural medicine.

Perfection to depression – Measuring ourselves to death

A monthly column about mindfulness and mental wellbeing.

Photos courtesy of Carol Mahoney
                                Club president Carol Mahoney gives a service appreciation award to Mercer Island Kiwanis Club board member Danielle Hawley of the Mercer Island Boys and Girls Club.
Island Kiwanis Club honors community and members

Annual awards dinner held on Oct. 19.

“Poetic Moon 1,” 36x48 Acrylic on canvas by Agnes Lee
Award winning artist at Art Walk November 1-2

Opening night of the November Art Walk on Friday, Nov. 1, will… Continue reading

Watch for trick-or-treaters during Chamber event

Little ghosts and goblins will overtake Island businesses on Halloween Day —… Continue reading

The Island’s third Pumpkin Walk is set for Oct. 27 at Luther Burbank Park. Photo courtesy of Amanda Colburn
Eastside Halloween roundup

Family-friendly seasonal events throughout the Eastside.