Saturday, April 05, 2014

Van’s RV-6: Biggest donation ever from an anonymous donor - St. Vincent de Paul thrift shop, Rim Country, Arizona

Thrift Shop Gets High-Flying Donation

 St. Vincent de Paul’s thrift shop recently received its biggest donation ever from an anonymous donor, intended to help the largest food bank in Rim Country.

Buckle your seat belt — it’s an airplane. And the donation lands just in time.

St. Vincent officials say their cupboards are bare and families continue to line up outside their storage room off South St. Phillips Street four times a week looking for a food box.

With food donations during this year’s annual Payson Area Food Drive low and food deliveries down from the Valley St. Vincent and federal government, Payson St. Vincent is just scraping by with canned goods.

Adolfo Burciaga and Jim Bridges, St. Vincent’s co-chair, said the Van’s RV-6 donation definitely helps.

“It has been tough,” Burciaga said of meeting this year’s demand.

“It just seems like the need is greater each year,” Bridges added.

When Bill Day, who runs St. Vincent’s local thrift shop, got a note that someone wanted to donate a plane he thought, “Get real.”

Day, who owns a plane, decided to look into it any way.

He learned the donor had built the two-seat, single-engine airplane in 1998 and put 500 hours on the engine. But due to deteriorating health, could no longer fly. Not wanting to see the plane go to waste, the man was unsure what to do with it. A neighbor of the man’s daughters reportedly suggested he give the plane to St. Vincent. The man, who does not attend the church, agreed to donate it.

This is the first time anyone has donated a plane to St. Vincent as far as anyone can remember, Day said.

“It is pretty cool,” Day said as he watched a mechanic check out the plane for any problems at Payson Airport.

The engine started up quickly and ran with no hiccups.

Also overseeing the check up was Phil Smith, who bought the plane from St. Vincent. Smith said he planned to keep the plane and add it to his collection of aircraft. He recently bought an 80-acre property in Grand Junction, Colo. and may park it there.

Smith, a self-proclaimed speed freak, said RV-6s are relatively rare and quite quick. They are also great for doing aerobatic tricks.

For St. Vincent the quick sell means money in their coffers to help those in need.


An anonymous donor recently gifted the St. Vincent de Paul thrift shop with a two-seat, single-engine airplane