Needlework poppies take to the air in fundraising effort for charities

Otago knitters and pilots joined forces this week to raise money for charity as part of a national relay through the skies.

Knitted stars and poppies were sold in Dunedin yesterday afternoon at Vincent George Travel in Moray Pl as part of the Poppy Flight charity relay.

The relay will continue until Anzac Day.

Poppy Flight organiser Melanie Salisbury said pilots would change at each stop at over 30 airstrips around the country, where knitted poppies and stars would be collected for sale.

Moments after touching down, Poppy Flight Dunedin co-ordinator Vincent George (left) and pilot...
Moments after touching down, Poppy Flight Dunedin co-ordinator Vincent George (left) and pilot Hayden Williams proudly show off the knitted payload they are helping to take across the country. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Money raised would go to the Returned and Services Association, the Starship Foundation and the New Zealand Warbirds Association.

Local knitting groups gave their creations to the sale, where they were sold alongside knitted poppies and stars made earlier in the relay.

Any leftover goods were taken to be part of the next sale further in the relay.

They also added their touch to a pair of artworks that were being created as the relay progressed.

Mrs Salisbury said the two artworks were being made as a gift for the RSA and Starship.

The plane that carried the artwork and knitted goods arrived at the Taieri Aerodrome yesterday.

She could not say how much she expected to raise, however she was confident whatever was raised would be a valuable contribution.

She said any knitted goods which were unsold by the end of the relay would be made into a dress, which would be auctioned off to add to the charity donation.

Expenses for the flights, such as fuel, were paid for by sponsors.

Pilot Hayden Williams said the relay represented the classic community-driven Kiwi attitude.

He said as a pilot he felt a strong roots to his predecessors who flew overseas during World Wars 1 and 2, and it was important to represent them today.

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