Wings of Hope tries it’s best to share with you all of the wonderful stories, once every quarter. However, sometimes we simply don’t have enough space in our 4-page format to put everything in there! So we have made it a point include these stories on our website instead of setting them aside. We present you, the LIFT: Bonus Content!
Volunteer of the Year Award
By one definition — a woman who has broad intellectual interests and is accomplished in areas of both the arts and the sciences — Beverly Wrobel is a Renaissance woman. She once aspired to a career in law enforcement, but “it scared me,” she says. She graduated from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with a degree in Business Administration and landed a job at HOK, where she learned technology was the future.
Bev’s career path spanned various companies, working in progressively higher level IT positions. Her final stop before retiring was a gig at the Apple Store, where she learned you do not need a tattoo and Millennial birth date to be a successful Apple Specialist.
Since joining us in 2015, Bev has become indispensable as our lead database manager.
Bev tells us the only ones with any beef about her volunteering at Wings of Hope are her three dogs, who wait with enormous anticipation while she’s gone until they hear the garage door open when she returns.
Thank you, Bev, for sharing your tech savvy — and myriad talents — with us!
Mike Calcagno came to Wings of Hope with over 35 years’ experience in the sales and marketing of medical equipment and supplies, and physician recruitment. A graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, Mike’s remarkable medical sales and management career included leadership positions at companies in San Antonio, Minneapolis, Memphis, Hartford, Kansas City and Austin.
When Mike retired, he discovered to Wings of Hope — and we’re so happy he did!
Today, Mike volunteers in our Purchasing Department, securing vital parts, supplies and equipment to keep our planes flying and our operations running. Mike also has served on our Gala Committee for several years, including three years as event chairperson.
An integral part of the Wings of Hope family, Mike recently took it upon himself to organize and cook weekly BBQ lunches in our hangar during the spring and summer months for all staff and volunteers.
Thank you, Mike, for sharing your time, your talents — and your grilling skills — with us!
Bill Hoffman grew up in the beautiful state of Hawaii. He is an avid surfer, and enjoys getting to the beach whenever possible.
After 20 years of service flying A-4s, Bill retired from the U.S. Navy. He spent the next 20 years at McDonnell Douglas, then Boeing.
A good friend from his Navy days told Bill about a wonderful place to volunteer, and it wasn’t long before Bill was volunteering there, too. That was five years ago, and Wings of Hope has never been the same!
Bill has worked in several departments at Wings of Hope, including Purchasing. In the warmer months, he spends countless hours maintaining the grounds around our headquarters — mowing the grass and generally keeping the landscaping neat and tidy.
Bill is best known for his work as our “Balloon Guru,” maintaining and leading the Wings of Hope balloon in three parades every year.
When he’s not volunteering with us, Bill also volunteers with the USO at St. Louis Lambert International Airport and driving the USO mobile unit.
Thank you, Bill, for sharing your retirement with us!