The Flying Fish Foundation is located in Branford, Connecticut, USA. The Foundation seeks to utilize the vast resources available in the United States and abroad to inspire and benefit the children of Barbados.
The Sound is a local newspaper distributed on a weekly basis.
Excerpt from article published in ‘The Sound’ in the USA:
‘Love is in the Air’ By Robin Collins – Associate Editor – The Sound
When Kyle Corkum and Sherry Koftan were beginning to plan their wedding, Kyle came across a bridal magazine that he decided to bring home for his bride-to-be.
“It was one of those bridal magazines the size of a Manhattan phone book,” says Kyle.
“I came across this add that said you could win your dream wedding. It was called ‘Love is in the Air’. I told Kyle we could win. He gave me a look, like the one he’s giving me right now, that said I was crazy. But we started working on it.”
After several weeks of working on an idea, Sherry awoke in the middle of the night with the idea of drawing and creating a Cinderella wedding album. She woke Kyle up to tell him the idea and being a cartoonist, Kyle got up at about 2 a.m. and sketched out the entire thing.
‘For six weeks or so we didn’t get any sleep!” says Sherry.
Kyle did the pen and ink drawings, and Sherry did the watercolor. They wrapped it up like a wedding present and hand delivered it to New York on the day of the deadline. The deadline came and went. Then they started getting calls, first receiving news that their album was in the top 100 entries. It later made it to the top 20 and next to the top 10 entries. Finally, they were told that the contest was now narrowed down to three couples. The magazine sent a live camera crew to their house to ask Kyle and Sherry several questions to help break the tie. The answers were sent to the magazine over a satellite.
“They came with a satellite truck and were doing sound checks in our ear,” says Kyle. “All of a sudden Oprah came on the screen and started talking to us. We had won.” Oprah had apparently called Bride’s Magazine on a whim while she was getting ready to do a show on people who had won crazy contests. Though the magazine was going to notify them by phone, Oprah had much more in mind.
The contest was so much more than what was promised, according to Kyle and Sherry. They were flown to Barbados in October of 1999 by Air Jamaica, along with 65 friends and family. They were put up in the finest hotels, and in addition to the extraordinary local musicians who performed at their wedding ceremony, Lisa StC Hutchinson of ‘Weddings… beyond yourimagination!!’ arranged to have a beautiful children’s choir from the St. Martin’s Mangrove Primary School serenade the couple, throwing island flowers and blowing bubbles to enhance the event.
“Lisa coordinated the whole wedding flawlessly, and each part was more beautiful than the next. It surpassed our expectations and changed our lives,” says Kyle.
“The serenade by the children was the highlight of the wedding and left everyone in tears,” said Sherry. The kids made such an impact on the newlyweds that they decided to go to visit them at the school and Lisa again made the necessary arrangements. The couple visited the St. Martin’s Mangrove Primary School where Kyle gave the students some lessons in the art of cartooning.
“These kids were amazing,” says Kyle. “They were the most attentive I’ve ever seen. They were locked on me like a laser beam. If I said, ‘Pick up your pencils,’ all of them went up immediately. We were so impressed by their focus, their intelligence and their superb manners. Their parents and teachers have obviously worked very closely for many years with them to produce such an impressive result. We were touched by their love and enthusiasm for learning.” After their visit with the children, the Corkums decided to do anything they could to repay the children of the St. Martin’s Mangrove School. They hoped to give them something in return for all the happiness they had given them.
So, Kyle called Tom Hill at Air Jamaica and asked if he could persuade the airline to donate the transportation if Kyle and Sherry could find donations that would benefit the children. Luckily, Tom agreed, and Air Jamaica became a vital partner in the Flying Fish Foundation. Without Air Jamaica’s support, this initiative probably could not happen.
Over the past year the accomplishments of the Flying Fish Foundation have exceeded even our own high standards. With the aid of Lisa StC Hutchinson, Hugh Riley and Hugh Foster of the BTA, Martin Cox, Miss Denney of The Ministry of Education & Joan Crawford of the Child Care Board, the first shipment of almost 11,000 pounds (5,000 kilos) of materials are going to be distributed to schools, day care centers and orphanages in Barbados in early April. “We’ve already collected US $300,000 worth of materials,” says Kyle. “And we’ve barely scratched the surface.”
What he means is that the Flying Fish Foundation presently only has four people completely dedicated to the project. They know with the help of others, the project will grow exponentially and the gift of love and generosity that the wonderful people of Barbados gave to the Corkums can be repaid for many years to come.
“We want Lisa to know how much her imaginative efforts have meant to Sherry and me, and now, by extension, will mean to hundreds of children on the island” says Kyle “Thanks for all of your help and support. We love you Lisa and think of you often.”
Vendors who donated their service and time complimentary to the Corkums amazing Wedding experience in Barbados!!
Accents by Sandy Proverbs / Almond Beach Village & Club / Ambassadors Steel Orchestra / Andre Forde / Baku / Banks (B’dos) Breweries Ltd. / BodyFX / Boyce Garage & Tours / Carambola / Carib Horizons / Coral Reef Club / Corbin’s Catering / C.O. Williams Flowers / DB Productions / Diamonds International / Elco Rentals / Elite Systems Inc / Events Unusual / Forever Flowers / Horse & Carriage Weddings / Jan’s Party Services / John King & Jegna / Karen’s Beauty Salon / La Terra Restaurant / Lyndhurst Taxi Service / Magical Moments / Margaret Bovell / Omar Forde / Paradise Limousine / Photo Dynamics Inc / Pro Photo / Rev. Curtis Goodridge / Russell Clarke Videography / St. Martin’s Mangrove School Choir / Stoutes Car Rentals / Studio Studio / The Barbados String Ensemble / Victoria Florist / Weddings… beyond your imagination!!