Next event: April 27th, 2024

Volunteer, Donate & Smile with Us!

Promo Video

FREE TO BE ME is an awesome event for pediatrics with chronic and critical illness. They come out to the airport with their siblings and enjoy a fun day of airplanes and games! Support us by volunteering and donating!

Video by Cliff Hollis.

About Us

My name is Mike Roberson and I am a private pilot. One Tuesday in January I was out flying and as I left the airport I glanced over at Vidant Medical Center and thought “we should carry sick children flying”. I continued with my day and just put that thought away. For two days I didn’t think anymore about this idea. Well, Thursday night at 2 am I woke from a solid sleep with only one thing on my mind “taking sick children flying”! So, I listened! The next morning I made three phone calls with the third one connecting me to Kimber Stone with Riley’s Army. After just a few minutes she was just as excited about this as I am.

After several meetings and sharing this idea with almost everybody I came in contact with, we set the stage for our first event at South Oaks Aerodrome in Winterville, NC. I talked with the local EAA chapter and they too shared in my excitement. They immediately offered to provide the planes and the fuel to make this day happen. I left the meeting thinking WOW! We really have a great opportunity to touch the lives of people that are going through a tough season in their life. The children are all battling some type of chronic or critical illness, though we may not be able to heal their sickness, through laughter and fun we can make it less painful for the entire family. As the name implies, Free To Be Me is a day for the children and their siblings to come out and just feel free to be themselves with no restrictions!

I am so proud to be a part of this event and to have so many great people stepping up to make this event great for the children. Please stay tuned for the rest of the story as it unfolds…
Mike Roberson
As the president of an electronics company, I felt like it was my responsibility to use the gifts and resources God has given me to give back and help others. What better way than through Free To Be Me! I have also been blessed with the opportunity to fly airplanes. With my pilots licenses, I feel like I should use it to lift the spirits of other people whenever possible.
Charles Lewis
Flight Director
As a business owner and pilot, I too felt like I should share my love for aviation with my community in ways that would lift the spirits of those going through a tough season in life. I truly enjoy the contagious smile from a person that goes flying for the first time! Flying is my passion and I want to share the experience!


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