Arvada aviation event promotes mental health awareness

Warbirds over Rockies informative, entertaining

Posted 9/4/15

Eighteen percent of adults suffer from some kind of a mental disorder nationwide, a number Brian O'Meara and Andrew Romanoff are trying to lower through education —and a little fun.

“Mental illness is something as Americans we brush under the …

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Arvada aviation event promotes mental health awareness

Warbirds over Rockies informative, entertaining

Posted

Eighteen percent of adults suffer from some kind of a mental disorder nationwide, a number Brian O'Meara and Andrew Romanoff are trying to lower through education —and a little fun.

“Mental illness is something as Americans we brush under the carpet, because if it's not affecting you, it's easy to ignore,” said O'Meara, organizer of Warbirds over the Rockies, a model aviation event that combines plane modeling with mental health awareness.

Held Sept. 11-13 at the Arvada Modelers Airfield, 7608 State Highway 93, Warbirds brings together more than 300 modelers and model aircraft to entertain and educate attendees about modeling, wartime aircraft and mental health issues.

“This is a patriotic, educational and entertaining event,” said Romanoff, president and CEO of Mental Health America, the beneficiary of the three-day event. “We have 5 million potential supporters in Colorado — everyone in this state is affected by this issue.”

O'Meara and Romanoff — whose lives have been touched by suicide, dementia and Alzheimer 's disease — said their goal is to reduce the stigma around mental health and to bring light to the cause and to the work being done to increase resources and help for those dealing with a mental health illness.

“We ought to be declaring war on mental illness,” Romanoff said. “I know we are not going to prevent every suicide, but we have got to reduce the number.”

In its 12th year, Warbirds over the Rockies features an array of specialty model aircraft. Attendees can expect to see various sizes and styles of handmade wartime model airplanes — from a World War II P-51 Mustang to a Waco biplane — soaring through the sky.

Along with plane exhibitions, the event will have a variety of modeling equipment and toy vendors as well as a daily air show with a history of military aviation and battle simulations.

For Ted Hughes, president of Arvada Associated Modelers, this event is distinctive.

“There are very few places you can fly planes of this size, speed and technology, and you can do that here,” he said. “You're going to see some of the best planes and the best pilots in the world out here.”

Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased via www.warbirdsovertherockies.com.

“Anyone who loves an airplane and loves excitement will love this event,” O'Meara said.

Money raised will go to expand Mental Health America of Colorado's educational programs,building a network of care providers and increasing advocacy. Romanoff and his team will be available to provide information about the organization, mental health statistics and available resources.

Warbirds over the Rockies, Arvada Modelers Airfield, Arvada, Colorado, Mental Health America, mental health awareness, Andrew Romanoff, aviation, Arvada Associated Modelers, Crystal Anderson

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