CARSON CITY – Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation (AADF), a non-profit organization that offers Dream Flights to U.S. military veterans living in retirement communities and long-term care facilities, received a $5,000 grant from Vital Life Foundation, a Marquis and Consonus Foundation that supports organizations and programs that provide meaning and vitality in the lives of seniors and staff members living and working in long-term care.
AADF relies on donations, sponsorships, and grant money to fund the Dream Flights, which are provided free of charge. “We started the foundation in 2011 with one mission: to give back to those who have given,” said AADF Founder and President Darryl Fisher. “Vital Life Foundation’s grant supports our mission to continue honoring those special men and women who sacrificed and served our country.”
Fisher and his all-volunteer AADF crew travel the country year-round in one of three fully restored Boeing Stearman two-seater biplanes, the same aircraft military aviators used to train in during World War II. Dream Flight recipients strap on headsets and leather helmets and take to the skies at 1,000 feet for a 30-minute flight. “It’s a magical experience for them. Memories come flooding back, and when we land, they’ve got a spring in their step and a smile on their face,” described Fisher.
AADF coordinates the Dream Flights with senior living and long-term care communities. This past August, Vital Life Foundation coordinated Dream Flights for nine residents living at Marquis Companies, a company that operates 23 long-term care and assisted-living facilities in Oregon, California, Idaho and Nevada. According to Vital Life Foundation’s Executive Director Ann Adrian, the experience prompted the board to present the $5,000 grant to AADF.
“Our missions are so closely aligned,” said Adrian. “Our team at Vital Life Foundation looks for opportunities to create meaning and joy in the lives of seniors, and that’s exactly what the Dream Flights are all about. Each of these senior veterans dedicated a portion of their lives to serving our country, and it’s so important that they are recognized for doing so.”
AADF depends on sponsorships, grants, and personal and corporate donations to operate the foundation and maintain the three biplanes. Sport Clips Haircuts, a sports-themed haircutting franchise that specializes in haircuts for men and boys, is AADF’s major sponsor. Efforts are underway to raise funds to purchase a fourth biplane, called the Spirit of San Antonio, to serve the growing number of senior military veterans living in Texas and southwest United States.
The Vital Life Foundation is a non-profit foundation that supports causes and resources that help seniors. Created by Marquis Companies, a long-term care, assisted living and home health care company, and its sister company that provides pharmacy, rehabilitation, staffing and consulting to the long-term care community, Consonus Healthcare Services, the Vital Life Foundation has been operating since 2008.
Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation is a Carson City-based, non-profit organization established in 2011. It is dedicated to honoring senior veterans from all U.S. branches by providing free Dream Flights in one of three fully restored Boeing Stearman biplanes, the same aircraft many military aviators trained in during World War II. AADF’s mission is “Giving back to those who have given.” To learn more or to apply for a Dream Flight, visit www.agelessaviationdreams.org.