If you go
What: Longmont Electric Aircraft Flyers Fun Fly and flights for the public, barbecue and potluck.
When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 8
Where: LEAF property off of County Road 26, past the entrance to Union Reservoir
Cost: Free; donations welcome for a local nonprofit
More info: https://leafrc.com/
Remote-control planes buzzed in circles over a miniature runway south of Union Reservoir against the vista of Longs Peak on a clear summer day.
Mark Faivre — president of the Longmont Electric Aircraft Flyers — said the hobby of assembling and flying the model planes is both fun and addicting.
“These foam planes look so good, they don’t even look like foam,” he said. “You don’t build them all winter long like balsa and when you crash — and we crash all the time — you can just glue it back together and carry on.”
Faivre said the club has endeavored in 2018 to become more focused on the Longmont community, donating money raised from potlucks and barbecues to local nonprofit organizations.
Previously, money raised from LEAF Fun Fly fundraisers would go to the Academy of Model Aeronautics, but new officers decided the money should start going back to the community that has supported the club.
The city leases the land LEAF flies from to the group for $100. Local store HobbyTown USA sponsors the club and hosts its monthly meetings and members have donated everything from their welding skills to tables to the club.
“We’ve had two Fun Flies and barbecues so far this year. The first was in April and Georgia Boys sponsored the food and 90 people showed up and we collected $800 from members and their families and we donated it to the YMCA after-school program because we heard they could use it. It’s not a lot but it makes us feel better to give back,” Faivre said.
For the club’s July Fun Fly, 85 people showed up and the club collected $900 from members and their families.
“We looked around and saw all these old guys with white beards and we decided we’d better give it to the senior center,” LEAF Vice President David Hoag said, laughing.
The club’s next Fun Fly is set for 10 a.m. Sept. 8 at the club’s property off of County Road 26, past the entrance to Union Reservoir. The event will be themed around warbirds (military aircraft) and d edicated to James “Jimmy” Tarantino , a member who died in January and loved warbirds.
Faivre pointed to a picture of Tarantino on the wall of the clubhouse.
“We’ll be putting a bench out here in his memory, because we miss him,” Faivre said.
The proceeds from the Sept. 8 Fun Fly will go to a local charity the club will choose at its September meeting. The day also will be the club’s last Take Off and Grow With Us day for the year, where the club and HobbyTown USA offer the public a chance to fly a plane for free.
“We take them up in the trainer planes and see how they like it,” Faivre said. “We have a nice little community here. Everybody’s so nice. It should be illegal to have this much fun, it’s a great group. We gab and we fly.”
Karen Antonacci: 303-684-5226, firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/ktonacci