CHILLICOTHE, Ohio. At Archie Griffin Airport here the waiting room is crowded with sick children waiting to board private planes that will take them to hospitals across the nation for treatment of debilitating diseases, so Kimberli Jonas, a twenty-something restaurant hostess, looks out of place.
“Where do the calories from Diet Coke go?”
“Do you think I should dot both the i’s in my name with happy faces,” she asks Lowell Fusenburg, a retired tool-and-die magnate who is funding her treatment, “or is that, like, totally over-the-top?”
“Whatever you want is all right with me, cupcake,” the graying 76-year-old says, then turns to speak to this reporter. “With surgery, something can always go wrong,” Fusenburg says with an audible lump in his throat. “She’s one tough cookie–you’d think I was going to be operated on.”
“Smoking, non-smoking or . . . I forget the third one.”
While the younger patients assembled here will be flying Angel Flight, Wings of Heaven and other non-profit services that provide emergency air transportation for children who need medical care, Kimberli will take a chartered jet provided by “Wings for Babes” to Las Vegas for an emergency breast augmentation by one of the world’s top cosmetic surgeons.
“No more sharing tips with grubby busboys!”
“These gals, I tell ya, it just breaks your heart to see them suffer,” says Mike “Chip” Correnti, Executive Director of the organization. “If we can bring them just a little bit closer to their ideal cup size, they’ll be able to fulfill their dreams of becoming kept women.”
“Wings for Babes” is an Ohio non-profit corporation that was recognized as a tax-exempt organization by the Internal Revenue Service, but only after a long and sometimes contentious review. “I wanted to see, touch and feel the evidence that these girls were getting the critical help they needed,” says IRS Revenue Officer Lowell Buntrock of the agency’s Exempt Organization Unit in Cincinnati. “After a thorough examination of the group’s poster girls for 2014, 2015 and 2016 to the present, I was completely satisfied.”
“I know it’s a private flight but I still get to . . . I mean got to examine you.”
Critics of “Wings for Babes” say it serves no charitable purpose and is merely a tax shelter for wealthy businessmen to write off amounts they spend on gold-digging younger women. “You don’t get to deduct the full amount of your donation if you get something in return,” says Muriel Kaye, a reporter for the Ashtabula Times-Sentinel who has written articles critical of the group. “These guys would be paying top dollar for the same services at a strip club.”
Available in Kindle format on amazon.com as part of the collection “The Spirit of Giving.”