“We Did It!” So rang the cheer throughout the Escanaba Airport on Sunday, March 16, 2003. The cheer was echoed by a small delegation of Project New Horizon committee members and their families as the Piper Seneca V airplane piloted by the president of Northwoods AirLifeLine Dr. Dennis Whitehead, swooped into Delta County for the first time. Aboard were two very special passengers – Ruth and Bob Larson. Larson, who founded NWALL in 1989, saw his dream finally realized for a plane owned by the pilots of NWALL.
Co Chairmen Charlie Lundmark and Al Salmi, and Treasurer Paul Roll, heaved big sighs of relief as the goal of a 2 1/2 year fund drive appears to have been finally attained. “We are so grateful and humbled by the generosity of the citizens all across the U.P.”, said Salmi. “This has truly been an uplifting experience to see so many individuals, schools, businesses, unions and clubs unite in their giving spirit as they recognized the urgent need of medical air transport for citizens of the U.P., he added.
Since Project New Horizons was formed in 2000, thousands of donations, big and small, have poured into the fund drive. “We are proud to say every single cent donated to the plane purchase was used for the plane. All work was donated by volunteers, spearheaded by members of Lutheran Brotherhood and the Lion’s Clubs of the U.P.”, stated Paul Roll, treasurer of PNH.