Flying kites may be a fun activity on a nice day, but it’s also a hobby that is steeped in giving back to the community in Oklahoma.
Jason McCaleb, Tulsa resident and regional director for the American Kitefliers Association (AKA), also serves as administrator for the Tulsa Wind Riders Kite Club. The club was formed by current president Larry Stiles and Richard Dermer, who died in 2014. Dermer co-founded Hideaway Pizza with his wife, Marti, and was a former president of the AKA.
The Dermers traveled to many countries teaching people to build kites and designed their own high-performance version of the sled kite. Recently, Hideaway Pizza donated 9,000 kits to the Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance for its first Statewide Kite Festvial, which will be held May 5 at the University of Tulsa.
McCaleb works with many different nonprofits for the Wind Riders and the AKA, including school districts and the Tulsa Boys’ Home. His own love for kites and giving back developed after meeting Dermer and Stiles.
“I didn’t fly kites until about five years ago, then I met Richard and Larry, and I saw Richard and his wife donate their time,” he says. “It showed me you could really do something fun and give back to your community. That multiplied more than I could have imagined.”