GLENDALE -- Being on the Paw Patrol offers us many chances to give back to our community, and recently we took part in an extraordinary experience that we will never forget.
Last week, the Paw Patrol was invited to represent the Coyotes at the Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona’s fourth annual Salute to Armed Forces Golf Tournament. The event, which was held on one of the beautiful courses at Troon North Golf Club, was staged to raise money for the Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona. Foursomes donated funds to support the armed forces and the Foundation.
The course was dotted with golf sponsors, local celebrities and members of the military, and all were having a great time throughout the morning. The Paw Patrol was assigned to be involved in a fundraising effort that raised more than $600 for the Foundation. At our Par 3, aka the “beat-the-pro” hole, participants donated money in order to use the professional’s shot towards their overall score. We had a great time encouraging donations and picked up a few pointers along the way!
The highlight of the event was our private tour of a Black Hawk helicopter, which landed on the driving range at the course, and was open for participants to explore and take pictures with. Three members of the United States Army were there to answer questions and we were given an exclusive look inside.
The first space we toured was the cabin, where they showed us how to strap in safely, and how to get out quickly as if we were landing on a mission. The captain took us through all of the checklists that the actual soldiers go through as they wait in the helicopter, such as making sure we had our helmets, bulletproof vests and extra rounds. Once the captain informed us that we were about to “land,” he had us un-strap, file out of the helicopter and hit the ground. It was exhilarating and got our adrenaline pumping, and we had only just begun our tour of the Black Hawk.
The next space was the side openings, where soldiers sit to take fire from the helicopter. The captain explained that these spaces are extremely safe, and will keep a solider from falling out even when the door is open and they are leaning out of the open window. And he wasn’t kidding, these straps held us in no matter what we tried to do.
Our favorite part of the tour was when each of us sat in the cockpit, and a few of us even donned the helmet the actual pilot wears! During our lesson, the captain showed us how to take off and land, how to turn and control the helicopter and the entire switchboard full of buttons and commands. We already had a great amount of respect for our teachers, but after seeing everything that goes into making the Black Hawk fly, it is easy to say that we have a new admiration for them as well.
The Paw Patrol’s day at the golf course was truly one that we won’t forget. Not only did we have a once-in-a-lifetime experience with the Black Hawk helicopter, we supported the Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona and helped them raise money to continue helping Arizonans who benefit from their services.
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