Over 5,000 people filled the grounds of the Craig Ranch Regional Park on May 18 for Carnival in the Clouds, an inagural event hosted by nonprofit organization Miracle Flights.
“We’ve been planning this a little over two years,” said Kathy Roller, who coordinated the event. “As a team, we were talking about what kind of event we could host that would still have our roots in aviation. Drones happen to be the new wave, so we thought, why not do a drone carnival and have components for every single person in a family that might want to come?”
The four-hour carnival was an extension of the organization’s air races that were held in Boulder City about 30 years ago, Roller said. Tents with face painting, food and activities for all ages were staged throughout the site. Drones for parents and children were available to test fly.
“There’s always going to be situations where if you have a sick child or maybe a family that’s less fortunate, they’ll need the kind of care Miracle Flights provides,” said Cherie Homan, a volunteer at the event.
Las Vegas-based Miracle Flights surprised 13-year-old Jordan Boren of Texas with a cake flown in by helicopter drone. The surprise came after Roller received a call from a mother in Texas who was interested in learning more about Miracle Flights.
“She said she saw a poster for Miracle Flights in a children’s hospital in Dallas,” Roller said. “Her son, Jordan, has a rare condition called cystinosis. He gets dialysis four days a week and when he’s in the hospital, he gets in trouble for flying drones around.”
Miracle Flights connected Jordan and his mother, Cycilia, to Horizon Therapeutics, which flew the family out to surprise Jordan on his birthday. Horizon Therapeutics specializes in rare conditions like Jordan’s, Roller said.
“For this event, we had three main goals,” Roller said. “We wanted to raise money to increase the number of flights we provide for families, raise awareness because there are so many people even in the Las Vegas community who don’t know Miracle Flights exists, and third, we wanted to thank the Las Vegas community because without their support, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.”
About Miracle Flights
What: Nonprofit organization that provides free flights so children can receive specialized care and second opinions in distant locations
Where: Based at 5740 S. Eastern Ave., Suite 240
More information: miracleflights.org