In the small city of Elmira, New York – about halfway along the length of the Pennsylvania and New York border – at VFW Post 901, motorcycles will arrive from all over the region for the Wings Over Haiti Benefit. Wings Over Haiti’s Benefit is actually a motorcycle rally, live music concert, silent auction, rally and more…
Wings Over Haiti Benefit background
Perhaps we should start with the date of the earthquake for this story, or maybe we should talk about the fact that to this day, almost a year and a half later, the nation of Haiti is still only beginning its recovery. Wings Over Haiti is not a charity organization, per se, but is a non-governmental organization (NGO) which intends to build a new, independent and sustainable community within Haiti as a model for the future.
It all began with a single January flight shortly after the 2010 earthquake wreaked havoc on the Haitian city of Port-au-Prince and beyond. Jonathan Nash Glynn flew his private plane onto the island to deliver as much aid as he could carry; he remained in Haiti for almost three weeks and, upon his return home, he immediately began to raise money for his newly formed organization, Wings Over Haiti. Glynn’s focus became to create real and lasting change in the lives of the people Wings Over Haiti is able to reach.
The Wings Over Haiti Benefit is being held as an effort to raise money for the mission of Wings Over Haiti, with entertainment scheduled to bring in the people and especially the riders. It is one of many events held mostly around the New York area, where Wings Over Haiti is based. The money raised at this event will be used to finish building a new school in Haiti for children who may not have seen one for far too long.
Wings Over Haiti Benefit events
VFW Post 901 is where you will need to be at between 8 and 9AM on 4 June 2011 to sign up for the Wings Over Haiti ride out. From this starting point, the basic path runs to two different Harley-Davidson Dealerships, the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon in Wellsboro, and other stops may be added. All in all, the Wings Over Haiti ride will be around 120 miles long by the time you return to the VFW, where food and drinks, including beer, will be waiting for you.
Of course, you are expected to stay long enough to return to sobriety, but the Wings Over Haiti Benefit will keep you well occupied. The live music – which features some great local groups and singers – begins around 1PM and lasts until 7. During that time, there will be guest speakers from Wings Over Haiti, running slideshows of the wonderful work they do and why they do it, raffles, giveaways and even a well-stocked silent auction for those with the extra to give in order to receive.
Haiti needs Wings Over Haiti
Wings Over Haiti is focused on the long-term here, and the benefit will help improve the lives of only a few at first. However, this is the ‘teach a man to fish’ approach to helping a nation recover not only from a terrible natural disaster, but also a history of dirty politics, corporate malfeasance and unending greed. The people in Haiti involved with Wings Over Haiti learn, where before they may not have had schools or jobs or much of anything; now they can expand on what they know and lead the nation forward to a better life for their children.
If you are unable to make the trip to Elmira, there are other ways to help Wings Over Haiti; their website is full of information and has a donation page ready to help you out: www.wingsoverhaiti.org. They are looking for volunteers as well, so if money is the problem, maybe you can ride up and donate your time. And that is the best reason to get up to the Wings Over Haiti Benefit – it is a wonderful, and generous, excuse to get out and ride!