A Beavercreek man is closer to fulfilling his flying dream after winning an airplane from Wings of Hope, a nonprofit providing free medical air transports in the United States and humanitarian aid in developing countries.
Paviter Singh bought the winning raffle ticket to win the refurbished 1977 Cessna 150M, which was delivered two days before Christmas when it landed at the Greene County-Lewis A. Jackson Regional Airport.
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Wings of Hope President and CEO Bret Heinrich flew in from St. Louis and presented the keys to Singh and his family.
“We are so grateful to Mr. Singh and everyone who supports our mission by participating in our raffles,” Heinrich said.
The Cessna, estimated to be worth $22,500, has had two previous owners and has been overhauled with new equipment, so maintenance won’t be a major concern for at least a few years, Singh said.
Singh, who owns Dayton-based trucking business Malwa Co. LLC, is working to earn his pilot license and has a hangar at the Moraine Airpark, where he plans to park the Cessna and continue his flight lessons.
The 42-year-old, who immigrated from India to the U.S. in 1995 and moved from Philadelphia to Beavercreek in 2011, said he plans to fly “just for fun.”
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“It’s my dream to be a pilot. I love flying,” he said. “My family was so excited when I took them there.”
Singh said he first became aware of Wings of Hope and its annual raffle in 2016 when he signed up for a pilot’s magazine. That year, he bought three tickets, at $50 each, but didn’t win. This year, he bought more to increase his odds of winning — a total of six tickets at a cost of about $250.
“Wings of Hope are helping a lot of people out there. I want to continue to support them so they can help more people,” Singh said. “I really want to thank them. My dream just came true.”
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Wings of Hope said 4,000 tickets were sold, raising about $170,000 for the nonprofit’s U.S.-based medical air transport program. The program transports seriously ill people to specialized medical care facilities free of charge, according to the organization.
“Wings of Hope offers relief to the suffering, hope to the hurting, and quite literally saves lives in the United States and 11 other countries around the globe,” Heinrich said. “We believe it is our duty, our calling, to help our fellow men and women in peril regardless of race, religion or creed, and we use airplanes to do so.”
For more information about Wings of Hope, visit their website at wingsofhope.ngo or call (636) 537-1302.