Gallery: Reaching for a dream

Words and pictures by Dave Abrahams

One dream children of all cultures around the world seem to share is the desire to able to fly; it’s as universal – and as real – as their love of ice cream and fear of things that go bump in the night.

So when the volunteers of Reach for a Dream’s Western Cape region decided to do something big for nearly 100 local children - young people with life-threatening illnesses or overwhelming disabilities, kids who have had to come to terms far too early with the fact that life just isn’t fair but who have learned to smile through it all – they aimed high.

Sky high, in fact.

It took a daunting amount of organisation, but they managed to assemble a fleet of nine light aircraft, ranging from Pipistrel and RV8 sports two-seaters to a luxurious Piper Seneca six-seater, at the Stellenbosch Flying Club on Saturday 1 February. Most were members of the club, a few from Morningstar or further afield.

The pilots all donated their hours and fuel, dozens of volunteers in blue ‘Dream Maker’ shirts ensured that each child was personally escorted to and from their own magic carpet, local businesses donated party packs and snacks, and a classic car buff who introduced himself as Ron kept his 1934 Austin 10 Tourer running all morning giving the kids rides around the approach roads.

In a hangar cleared for the purpose a clown, a magician and a puppeteer who had most of the children up and dancing along with her four-footed creations, kept the noise level high and the grin factor even higher.

But it was the expression on these young faces, so aptly described by gospel group The Choir as ‘wide-eyed wonder’, as the aircraft reached for their dream of flying, that says it all, so much better than we can. - IOL Motoring