Wednesday, June 26, 2013

FLY FOR THE FIGHT against cancer!

Pictured from left to right:  Don Paltani, vice president and racing chairman, GORP; Randall Carney, president, GORP; Judy Booth, gift officer, The Nebraska Medical Center; Marilyn Dietz, co-owner of KCSI 95.3 FM and KOAK 1080 AM; Walt Codney, treasurer of GORP.
Greater Omaha Racing Pigeon, Invitational (GORP) Fly for the Fight campaign is a 501(c) affiliated non-profit organization formed to raise proceeds for cancer research through racing homing pigeons. Each year the group hosts several pigeon races and for the second year in a row has donated proceeds from the Fly for the Fight race to The Nebraska Medical Center.

Walt Codney, treasurer of GORP feels good about donating the money. "We are going to fly and race pigeons regardless and we thought we could raise money for a good cause while we did it," he says.

One of the GORP's successes is sponsorship from local businesses that sponsor a pigeon to fly in a special Sponsorship Race. "We are excited that the number of sponsored pigeons grew from five sponsors in 2011 to eight sponsors for the 2012 race," says Codney. Marilyn Dietz and her husband Jerry Dietz of Red Oak, Iowa own radio stations KCSI 95.3 FM and KOAK 1080 AM. Together they sponsored this year's winning pigeon. The Dietz pigeon, 2012 CURE 76, a blue bar white flight flew the 86 mile race from Fall City, Neb. to Codney's loft in Council Bluffs, Iowa in 1 hour, 56 minutes, and 36 seconds. This flight time beats the second place pigeon flown by The Needle and Thread of Papillion, Neb. by just 6 seconds.

The donation to the medical center has grown along with the increase in participation. On May 29, members of GORP presented Judy Booth, gift officer in the Office of Development with the proceeds from the 2012 race. The donation of $2,500 is to support oncology programs. "We are grateful to GORP for supporting oncology patients at the medical center," says Booth. "Cancer treatment can be a long and challenging journey and it is important to help our patients through it in many meaningful ways," she says.