Flying Vikings receive support
Monday, 04 June 2012 by Justin Cox
The Flying Vikings will get to soar just a little bit higher now thanks to none other than the generosity of a pizza company.
Texas area franchises of Papa John's Restaurants from Dallas to San Marcos are now supporting the Temple-based Flying Vikings by offering 10 percent of the proceeds of every pizza order to go to the non-profit group, provided the orderer uses the promo code "Vikings".
The promotion to aid the Flying Vikings will go on for the remainder of 2012.
Executive Director and founder of the organization Paul Hansen said it's another in a long line of big steps for the group, whose goal is to provide a new and wonderful life experience for kids between 6 and 18 who have been diagnosed with chronic disease or debilitating physical disability. Many of the children have cancer, down syndrome or a variety of conditions that cause them to spend the vast majority of their time in a clinical The children get to take part in a real life experience away from the clinical environment that they are so accustomed to.
Each child gets his or her own flight to experience themselves - and while they're sitting up front in the cockpit, their parents sit in the backseat to witness it.
Each flight lasts about 30 minutes, but that is hardly a measure for the joy and thrills for the children and families alike.
Hansen left a lucrative career in New Jersey where he worked in financial investments to start his Flying Vikings organization.
"I've always had an entrepreneurial spirit, you might say, but I want to look back and say I did something good - having effected thousands of lives in a powerful way - I could never be happier," Hansen said. "i felt I had a higher calling - a lot of people thought I was nuts."
He said it continues to be the most fulfilling thing he's done in his life.
"I want to give them something significant, get out of the clinic, get out of the hospital," he said. They're so used to being in a clinical setting- this is the complete opposite of what they experience every day. It's very powerful. their parents are crying, they're crying. It's huge for them."