Our own Jay Rickmeyer, who has been volunteering in our hangar going on 18 years, was honored on October 20 by the St. Andrew’s Charitable Foundation as an Ageless Remarkable St. Louisan. The award recognizes individuals, 75 and older, who are making a tremendous impact in St. Louis through philanthropy, volunteerism and leadership.
News anchor Mike Bush of KSDK NewsChannel 5 stopped by to interview 79-year-old Jay about his service to Wings of Hope, his many years flying U.S. medical air transport missions (more than 220!), and the hundreds of children he has helped along the way — including a little girl named Claire.
Now eight, Claire was only 18 months old when we started flying her from St. Louis to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for treatment of HLH, a rare autoimmune disorder. Jay remembers Claire from the nine Wings of Hope flights she took during her treatment. It has been four years since Claire’s last Wings of Hope flight — and she is doing great!
Wings of Hope President and CEO Bret Heinrich called Jay “the heart and soul of our domestic program.”
“He’s here working every day, really before anyone else arrives and stays many nights until everyone else is gone,” Bret said.
Always more comfortable shining the spotlight on others, Jay’s response to the award was true to form: “Mine is really a minor role. It’s the medical professionals that make miracles.”