Rotary: it gives you wings

Posted by Dot Hennessy on May 17, 2017
Lining up at the Rotary food stall
Lunch time: Wings Over Illawarra patrons line up for some tasty morsels at one of the food stalls run by Illawarra district Rotary clubs.
 
The annual air show Wings Over Illawarra was held over the weekend of May 6-7 and was extremely successful, with more than 30,000 people attending over the two days.

The Rotarians from the Rotary Clubs of Wollongong, West Wollongong, Corrimal, Fairy Meadow, Illawarra Sunrise and joined by Rotaractors from the University of Wollongong were all actively involved again this year, the 11th year since its inception. This included running food stalls, assisting with hosting of the VIP areas, including parking of the classic cars and bikes, and staffing a Rotary display tent.
 
In partnership with Rotary, the event organisers Mark and Kerry Bright of Bright Events Management, have committed a donation of $10 000 from the proceeds of the air show to the Rotary clubs, who in turn, have chosen to distribute these funds to the following organisations: St Mark’s Anglican Church – Feeding the Needy of Wollongong; Dapto Anglican Church – Streetcrew – supporting the Youth of Dapto; Accommodation and Homelessness Services, Shoalhaven/Illawarra; Imagination Library; Sky’s the Limit Mini Olympics and Wollongong Emergency Family Housing.
 
Dinner in the hangar
Guests enjoy the atmosphere at the Rotary Club of Illawarra Sunrise “Swing into Wings” Dinner in the HARS hangar.
 
On the Saturday night, The Rotary Club of Illawarra Sunrise initiated and ran a very successful “Swing into Wings” Dinner in the HARS Hangar, providing a unique and very interesting dining experience, especially surrounded by an ex Qantas 747, a Convair 440 and C47 Dakota.  A raffle was also conducted with prizes donated by the Roulettes, The Navy Fleet Air Arm, HARS and generous sponsor packages from regional businesses.
 
The evening began with cocktails on board the ex-Qantas 747 “City of Canberra”; each table, hosted by an aviator such as a RAAF Roulette pilot, a Navy Helicopter pilot from the RAN Fleet Air Arm, or a senior officer of the Army or Army Cadets, or an ex Qantas 747 captain.
 
The dinner was fully subscribed with over 220 guests attending.  Funds raised will be donated to Dream Big Dancers, based at Fairy Meadow, a local dance school specifically catering for children and adults with special needs.
Funds raised will go to help purchase much-needed items and equipment for their classes which culminate in a family concert later in the year.
 
Commodore Chris Smallhorn, RAN, the Commander Fleet Air Arm, gave a wide-ranging, informative and highly entertaining talk which included why the Illawarra is, in many ways, the cradle of aviation development, essentially through the work of Lawrence Hargrave.
 
For further information about Rotary and its projects, contact Dot Hennessy on 0412 120 314 or dothennessy@gmail.com.