BECKLEY, WV (WOAY-TV) – Kids can take a free airplane ride this weekend at the Friends of Coal Auto Show. The program is sponsored by Fly High Without Drugs (flyhighwithoutdrugs.com,) a local non-profit focused on educating children how to avoid illegal drug and alcohol use.
The event requires kids to go through several displays representing organizations such as emergency services, drug enforcement, counseling services and treatment facilities to get a ticket punched to qualify for a free ride.
There will also be displays from the WVU aviation program, and some other employers that can let kids know that opportunities are out there even in WV but drug testing is an expectation for them.
The event started out small at the airport through the First Baptist Church Beckley for the youth groups in the area to introduce kids to aviation through an organization called JAARS. (Jungle Aviation and Radio Services ) We would do airplane and helicopter rides for the kids and they would be able to talk to pilots about aviation.
Organizers, though, were not satisfied just entertaining kids for an afternoon. But in the middle of the night, one of the organizers, Phil Parvin came up with a theme. “Fly High Without Drug.” He was sure that because he had been in discussions about what to do about the drug problem in our community it finally clicked that he could use aviation to emphasize that getting high on drugs will only have very bad consequences and getting high on aviation can lead to vocation opportunities or just extend your reach and thinking to the big world out there.
So they expanded our scope and began to talk to the airport about dates for our event and Tom Cocran from the airport mentioned that the FOC was moving their car show event to the airport and he told them about what they were doing so they invited Parvin to come and give a presentation to their group about our vision for a drug prevention emphasis through the plane rides and they were excited that it added an element that they felt was missing as well.
The plane rides were given by volunteer pilots for the Raleigh County Airport who graciously donated their time and planes.
In all, 4,500 kids, not to mention parents and grandparents, were impacted by the event. They were able to have many conversations with participants about the services that are available in the area and also encourage kids to stay on a path without drugs.
This is a non-profit program of volunteers that are donating their time to put on a great program to encourage our kids and talk about alternatives along with ways out of the addiction of drugs.
We need everyone’s help to make this a success. We will have great expense for fuel for the airplanes and other promotional expenses.
Anyone that would like to contribute to the Fly High Without Drugs event can go to our website or Facebook page.
Or you can also volunteer to help with the event
and FB at flyhighwithoutdrugs
LOCATION & DIRECTIONS
The Friends of Coal Auto Fair is held on the spacious grounds of The Raleigh County Memorial Airport, which is conveniently located just off of Interstate 64, exit 125-B in Beckley, West Virginia.
From North & West
Take I-64 East/I-77 South to EXIT 40 (I-64 East towards Lewisburg). Travel on I-64 East to EXIT 125-B (county route 9/9). Continue traveling to the traffic control station. From there you will be directed to the appropriate parking area.
Take I-77 North to EXIT 40 (I-64 East towards Lewisburg). Travel on I-64 East to EXIT 125-B. Continue traveling to the traffic control station. From there you will be directed to the appropriate parking area.
Take I-64 West to EXIT 125 (county route 9/9). Continue traveling to the traffic control station. From there you will be directed to the appropriate parking area.
PLEASE NOTE: Members of our city, county and state police will direct you to the appropriate parking areas. Please follow their instructions to help ensure a smooth traffic flow.
PARKING AND SHUTTLE SERVICE
The Friends of Coal Auto Fair is pleased to offer FREE parking and shuttle service to our patrons throughout the weekend. When you arrive at the show, members of the Beckley City Police Dept., Raleigh County Sheriff’s Dept. and WV State Police will direct you to the appropriate parking area. To ensure smooth traffic flow, please follow their instructions.
Traffic control will direct. You will catch the shuttle buses at the various parking locations near the site.
Shuttle buses, courtesy of Raleigh County Community Action Association, will run from the parking areas to the show grounds during our hours of operation.