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Welcome to the Minneapolis, MN Pilots For Kids homepage. Learn how to get involved and participate in Pilots For Kids activities in the Minneapolis, MN area.
On Saturday, 07 December 2019 several volunteers including Delta pilots, flight attendants others helped to make a difference in the lives of foster kids and families from the Minnesota Children’s Home Society and Lutheran Social Services at the 30th Annual Pilots For Kids Fantasy Flight to the North Pole held at MSP airport.
Over 200 foster kids and families came to MSP and experienced some great food, games and entertainment including appearances by local sports mascots such as Goldy Gopher (MN Gophers), Viktor the Viking (MN Vikings) and T.C. Bear (MN Twins). In addition, there were other fun activities including face painting, beading, a candy fishing booth and hands-on science activities presented by the Science Museum of Minnesota as well as a cryogenics demonstration by the 3M Visiting Wizards.
The highlight of the day however was when guests boarded a Delta aircraft for a “flight” to the North Pole that took them on a trip around the airport before arriving back at the gate about 45 minutes later where they then found an area that has been magically transformed into the North Pole and where Santa himself was waiting to greet them.
Overall it was a wonderful day that helped not only the guests but also volunteers embrace and get in to the holiday spirit early.
Save the date for next year's event, Saturday, 05 DEC 2020!
I wanted to let you all know about this year's Pilots For Kids Fantasy Flight at the MSP airport happening Saturday, 07 December from 1000-1500 that day. For those who may not be familiar with this event, the Fantasy Flight is an event that has been happening for the past 20+ years at MSP started first by pilot and flight crew volunteers from NWA and now Delta. It features a meal, carnival with games and mascots present to interact with participants from Minneapolis college and pro teams like the Gophers, Wild, Twins, Vikings and more. The highlight of the event is a simulated "flight" to the North Pole on a Delta aircraft (usually an A320 or B757) that loads all participants at a gate, taxis around the airport for a bit and then returns to the gate that has been transformed by the volunteers into the North Pole where Santa is waiting to greet everyone and provide small gift bags.
The event supports kids and foster families from the MN Children's Home Society and is open to anyone who would like to volunteer to help including pilots and employees from other organizations as well as spouses and friends too. There is a potential limit on total number of helpers so if you are interested in volunteering, please contact Clayton Leith soon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Clayton is an MSP A320 First Officer and in charge of organizing volunteers for this year's event.
The main components and timeline of the PFK Fantasy Flight follow something like this:
10:00am - Volunteers arrive to set-up
11:30am - Kids and families arrive MSP airport
11:45am - Kids and families are escorted to the Fantasy Flight gate from special TSA checkpoint at MSP
12:00pm - Meal, carnival games and special program (looking at a science demo team from 3M and/or the Science Museum of Minnesota this year) at FF gate area
1:30pm - Boarding of FF aircraft
2:15pm - FF aircraft returns to gate (while out taxiing, the gate is transformed into a "winter wonderland" with Santa by volunteers). Kids and families get to meet Santa, etc.
3:00pm - Event closes
If you are interested in help with this year's event, please contact Clayton Leith (email@example.com) soon. Also be sure to bid-off on your schedule for Saturday, 07 DEC to be available.
Thanks in advance for your help and enjoy the upcoming holidays!
Captain, Delta Air Lines
Pilots For Kids and MSP Fantasy Flight Coordinator
My name is Chris Rossing and I am the new PFK Coordinator for MSP. I recently assumed these duties from Stephanie Laidlaw who has done a wonderful job over the past several years organizing, coordinating and running various Pilots For Kids events here in MSP. Thank you Stephanie for your great work!
A little background on myself, I am a Captain with Delta Air Lines and live in Maple Grove, MN. I am currently flying the B717 based in DTW but hope to return to MSP sometime next year in 2020 on the A320 as seniority bidding allows.
I previously lived in Sioux Falls, SD (FSD) where I started a PFK chapter there in 2013 and ran several events at the local children's hospital each year until 2016 when my family and I moved up to Minnesota.
As I assume coordinator duties here in MSP, I would like to try to change things up a bit and broaden our approach to events we do in the area. Instead of doing just a single event around the winter holidays at one place, I would like to investigate the possibility of potentially doing 2 or more events, one during the winter holidays and another sometime in the summer. Along those lines, I've been in touch with representatives from the Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM) to see if we can't partner with them in doing an event there for kids in need sometime in the future. As you know, PFK serves not only hospitalized kids but also other kids in need like those in foster care, children’s shelters, orphanages, halfway houses, and other facilities with needy children. The reps from SMM were very responsive to this and we are currently looking at doing something next year in the summer of 2020 so stay tuned for that.
In the meantime, I would like to try to set up a hospital visit with Children’s Minnesota sometime this coming holiday season. I have already reached out and have been participating with Children’s own Star Studio, the in-house TV station at Children’s Hospitals & Clinics of Minnesota where I helped call games of BINGO with their host “The Dude”. But I would like to see about doing a more traditional visit with them where we could hand out toys to the kids. The challenge with this is finding a way to get our volunteers on the floor where the kids are at but I’ll keep working with them and let you know what I find out.
Of course, the other big challenge is funding for these events and I would like to enlist your help in getting your fellow pilots or aviation enthusiasts to help support our local MSP PFK chapter by directing them to donate by following this link: https://www.pilotsforkids.org/dues-donations/donations.php.
Be sure they select the “MSP – Minneapolis, MN (Coordinator: Rossing)” on the “Direct My Donation To:” drop-down menu so the funds are properly assigned to our group. In my experience, an event with toys and the like for around 50-75 kids can be easily achieved for around $1000. We currently have zero funds in our account so we need to make this a priority.
In the past, it used to be relatively easy to get folks to contribute, at least at Delta, as each Chief Pilot Office had individual “vertical files” or “V-files” for each pilot where donation request letters and envelopes could be left. But as technology moves forward, the V-files have gone away with e-mail and tablets taking their place. I still plan on creating a donation flyer to be left in the CPO and will make that available for our other MSP PFK members to use at their bases as well. Hopefully it will be even easier to have a donor just follow the link and make their contribution online. And since PFK is a fully certified 501(c)3 organization, all contributions are tax deductible!
I look forward to working with any and all of you in the coming years to help make a difference in the lives of kids in need! Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have and thanks in advance for your support, time and help! Have a great day!
MSP Coordinator, Pilots For Kids
No upcoming events available. Contact the coordinator to see if there is an event they haven't posted yet!
Events from the past year are displayed here. Please check below this section to see if pictures from these events are posted!
Annual event supporting MN Children's Home Society at MSP Airport. See news article at PFK MSP homepage for more info.
Dress Code: Pilot/FA/Flight Crew Uniforms
Get Directions: MSP Airport, 4300 Glumack Drive St. Paul, MN 55111
RSVP: Please contact Clayton Leith (firstname.lastname@example.org) if interested in helping.
2019 Pilots For Kids Fantasy Flight to the North Pole at MSP Airport
On Saturday, 07 December 2019 several volunteers including Delta pilots, flight attendants others helped to make a difference in the lives of foster kids and families from the Minnesota Children’s Home Society and Lutheran Social Services at the 30th Annual Pilots For Kids Fantasy Flight to the North Pole held at MSP airport. Over 200 foster kids and families came to MSP and experienced some great food, games and entertainment including appearances by local sports mascots such as Goldy Gopher (MN Gophers), Viktor the Viking (MN Vikings) and T.C. Bear (MN Twins). In addition, there were other fun activities including face painting, beading, a candy fishing booth and hands-on science activities presented by the Science Museum of Minnesota as well as a cryogenics demonstration by the 3M Visiting Wizards. The highlight of the day however was when guests boarded a Delta aircraft for a “flight” to the North Pole that took them on a trip around the airport before arriving back at the gate about 45 minutes later where they then found an area that has been magically transformed into the North Pole and where Santa himself was waiting to greet them. Overall it was a wonderful day that helped not only the guests but also volunteers embrace and get in to the holiday spirit early.
PFK Goes On The Air To Help Call Bingo For Hospitalized Kids (Minneapolis, MN)
In January of 2018, Chris Rossing (Delta Air Lines) on behalf of Pilots For Kids spent part of his day calling Bingo with a character known as “The Dude” in the Star Studio at Children’s Minnesota Hospital and Clinics in Minneapolis, MN. As one of the largest freestanding pediatric health systems in the United States—with two hospitals, 12 primary care clinics and six rehabilitation and nine specialty care sites, Children’s Minnesota boasts its very own in-house TV studio and channel known as Star Studio. Offering programming in studio spaces on campuses in both Minneapolis and St Paul, Children’s own TV channel Star Studio provides positive, memorable experiences for patients and families as an alternative to mainstream and commercial entertainment. Star Studio produces several live, interactive shows that allow patients and families to participate through the telephone in their room or in the actual studio located on each campus. Studio spaces are located on both the Minneapolis and St Paul hospital campuses. Among several shows, Kids Clubhouse is a patient-favorite that features a variety of special guests, and games, and is hosted by “The Dude.” And on this day, Captain Rossing from PFK was the featured guest who got to help call multiple games of Bingo with “The Dude.” In addition to having a great time interacting with participants calling in to the show and in the studio, Captain Rossing brought a plethora of plush airplanes, lego-like airplane building kits and pens with LED lights as prizes to help brighten the day and New Year for some wonderful children on behalf of PFK. Below is a link to the show’s broadcast: http://childrensmnstarstudio.org/2018/01/15/star-studio-bingo-01-15-18/