Airplanes, cars and Oklahomans gathered in Collinsville on Saturday for a fundraiser benefiting a nonprofit that fulfills the wishes of children with critical illnesses.
The event is personal for the organizer as she continues to honor her late son.
It started with a wish, that is, Bill Campbell's wish to own a bus.
Now, with the help of his mom, Cindi Connor, and the “Wings, Wheels & Wishes Fundraiser,” other children like Bill can have their dream come true, too.
"It's a bit overwhelming, actually,” Connor said. “I look around, and it makes me a little teary-eyed."
The event is a fly-in and car show that began in 2017. Connor said she started this event in memory of her son, Bill, who had his wish granted in 2005.
All of the proceeds go towards Make-A-Wish Oklahoma.
"It brought hope to him, and he got a school bus that was converted into a clubhouse and so he had a little refuge,” Connor said. “And so, we owe Make-A-Wish. I feel forever indebted to them."
Connor said her son’s eyes lit up and his mouth was wide open the entire day that his wish was granted. He even drew a floorplan for them, and Connor said, they nailed it.
Connor said 2020 has been their biggest year yet, featuring 147 cars and several airplanes with music and scenic flights.
Connor said she couldn't have done it without her neighbors who opened up their hangars and private grass runway in addition to volunteers like Scout Master Patrick Murphy.
"My Boy Scouts are out here helping park cars and everybody out here is volunteers," Murphy said.
Matthew Hawkins said he was happy to support the foundation while having some family fun.
"It was just a really fun event for the family to come out and to be out in the air and see a lot of good things for a good cause," Hawkins said.
Connor said her husband is a pilot. Her son always had an affinity for cars, so this is the perfect way to keep Bill’s legacy alive.
"He used to mimic the sound of blinkers would make,” Connor said. “He would read owner’s manuals for fun. He could tell you anything about your car. […] He had a great, sarcastic sense of humor, and he [would’ve loved] this.”
For more information about Make-A-Wish Oklahoma, click here.