‘Wings of Hope’ To Aid Missions

Date: September 5, 1972
Location: Pottsville, PA
Newspaper: Pottsville Republican
Page: 5

NAZARETH – An aerobatic show featuring skydivers, stunt pilots, comic flyers, and an outstanding sailplane artist will be held at the Pocono International Raceway, Mount Pocono, Sept. 17 at 2 p.m.

The 2 1/2 hour performance is sponsored by Wings of Hope, a non-profit, non-sectarian organization based in St. Louis, which provides aviation and communication services to remote areas of the world for humanitarian purposes.

Procedeeds from the show will primarily benefit the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in New Guinea, who use aircraft in the widely scattered tropical islands for transporting teachers, doctors, nurses, and mission personnel and for medical emergencies among the thousands of natives they serve.

The Pocono Raceway has donated the use of its facilities for the benefit show, and many prominent men in the aviation industry and operations are assisting the project as members of an advisory board.

Andretti at Show

Mario Andretti, three-time national USAC champion and Grand Prix race car driver, is the honorary chairman of the show. From 12:30 to 2 p.m. he will give rides around the track in special race cars.

After a spectacular flag-jump opening by the Adventurers skydiving team, performances will be staged by Ray Wiseman, Dan Chapman, Dawson Ransome, Scotty McCray, and several members of the Mason-Dixon air show troupe, whose acts include an inverted ribbon cut and a girl-rider on an airplane wing. Announcers for the show will be Captain Jim Webb of Eastern Airlines and Russ Brinkley, president of Silver Wings.

The Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC) were aviation pioneers in the northern islands of the territory of New Guinea.

Twenty-six years ago, three of the original seven American MSC priests assigned to the area after World War II obtained pilot licenses before going there.

They foresaw air transportation as the key to modern progress in the primitive South Pacific islands and as a necessity for health emergencies.

Flying Padres

The immediate business of rebuilding Churches. schools, and hospitals destroyed by the war, as well as the lack of adequate funds, delayed air travel for several years. But two of the “flying Padres,” Bishop Alfred Stemper, MSC, head of the Kavieng, New Ireland, mission and Father Anthony Gerdusa, M.S.C. finally obtained airplanes and built air strips in the late 1960’s.

The third, Father Charles Patrick, MSC, returned to the U.S. and is the present provincial superior of the American MSC Missionaries. The cost of replacing the well-used mission planes and of maintaining and fueling the new ones is the reason for this year’s air show in the Poconos.

Gates will be open for the Air Show, Sept. 17 at noon.

The Wings of Hope Air Show office is at 520 Seip Ave., Nazareth, Pa. The Rev. Philip De Rea, MSC, is the director, and the Rev. Robert Cell, MSC, is the publicity director.

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