Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation (AADF) said this week that the Carson City, Nevada-based nonprofit is adding a restored 1943 Stearman to its fleet, thanks to the fundraising efforts of a local community in Wisconsin. AADF is dedicated to fulfilling the desire for senior veterans to soar with the eagles to honor their service to the nation. The organization has taken more than 3,700 veterans on a “Dream Flight” since 2011.
World War II veteran Eddie Lamken took his first Dream Flight with AADF in 2016 at age 91. His experience inspired a community to raise more than $125,000 to purchase the Spirit of Wisconsin, a 1943 Stearman that will be based at Stevens Point Municipal Airport, Wisconsin. The AADF will dedicate the Spirit of Wisconsin on June 19 and give the inaugural Dream Flight to Eddie Lamken. The ceremony kicks off a statewide Dedication Tour that culminates on July 26 at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019.
Eddie’s son, Stevens Point resident David Lamken initiated and led a two-year fundraising campaign to raise the funds needed to purchase the biplane. In addition to personal and corporate donations and proceeds from annual golf tournaments, AADF’s primary sponsor Sport Clips, jumpstarted the campaign with a generous donation, as did AADF sponsors Direct Supply and MatrixCare.