Summer Flight to Help Kids in Need

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When pilot Paul Wood, of Illinois, turned 50 this year, he decided to celebrate by doing something fun that would also benefit those less fortunate. Wood, who is a partner in an investment firm when he's not flying one of his airplanes, will embark on a long-distance flight July 1 in an Aviat Husky A1-B to help raise $250,000 for the Children's Home & Aid Society of Illinois -- and he's offering to match the first $100,000 in pledges himself. The trip is called Around the Country For Kids. "I hope to combine my two passions -- aviation and work for at-risk kids -- and fly all the way around the perimeter of the (contiguous) United States," Wood told EAA last week. Wood will depart from his home airport, Waukegan (Illinois) Regional, stop in Oshkosh, then fly up the Lake Michigan shoreline and set off counterclockwise for his flight around the country's rim. The trip should cover about 9,350 miles and 33 states, and take 25 days. Wood also owns and flies an L-39 Albatross, a 1941 Stearman, an L-19 Bird Dog, a T-28, a T-2 Buckeye and a King Air 90. To make a pledge to Around the Country For Kids, call 312-424-6809, or e-mail ealtmin@chasi.org.