100% of Donations Go Directly to Children Helping hospitalized children since 1983.

IND Coordinators

Daniel Ferracciolo


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IND - Indianapolis, IN

Welcome to the Indianapolis, IN Pilots For Kids homepage. Learn how to get involved and participate in Pilots For Kids activities in the Indianapolis, IN area.


PFK/Airplane Room Update

Last updated 1 week ago

There are 32 themed rooms at Peyton Manning Children's hospital. They are all special and unique. Easily the coolest room, however, prior to the construction of our room, was the car room. A local Chevrolet dealer (who shall remain nameless, but his initials are Bill Estes) sponsored this room. Bill sawed off the tail end of a red Corvette and stuck it on the wall. The wall is painted to compliment the body of the car in such a way as to make it appear that the car is driving away from the occupants of the room. The tail and license plate lights even illuminate. Pretty cool. This is where the room designers, foundation staff, and I formulated the concept of a dimensional airplane "flying" out of the wall for our room. I chose the DC-6 because it's nostalgic, it would be fanciful for the kids, it provided service for numerous airlines and the military, and I just really like it.

Last September I delayed the grand opening and dedication of our PFK/Airplane room for two reasons: 1. The rendition of the DC-6 was not meeting my expectation of dimensionality . 2. The pilot uniform display case that was to be outside of the entrance to the room in the hallway had not been built or installed (it has since been built).

In early September, the St. Vincent foundation agreed to re-bid the contract for our DC-6. Of the four new bids received, only one contractor (Impressive Prototypes) met our design expectation of a dimensional airplane model and was also able to comply with the myriad of protocols (infection control, materials, paints, etc.) required by the hospital.

Upon review by hospital staff, however, it was determined that the propeller design did not meet the anti-ligation protocol required in all childrens' rooms (maybe I should have picked a jet). The propellers were re-designed with a new foam break-away material and the bid re-submitted. Last Monday, I got word from the contractor that his bid has been accepted and he is in receipt of a purchase order. This is the news that I have been waiting for prior to updating you on our room's progress.

The contractor has assured me that he can have it done by Christmas. Installation will depend on when the hospital will be able to close our room for a few days. Although everything may be done by Christmas, due to the busyness of the holidays, FedEx Peak, and in order to maximize attendance, I believe it is wise to plan for a grand opening and dedication in January. As soon as I get a date worked out with the foundation and the hospital, I will let you know.

Please take a look at the “work in progress” picture gallery, below. As you can see, the dimensionality issue has been resolved. The car room is cool, but it's about to be relegated to permanent second place.

2017 Indy PFK Season, Update One

Last updated 1 month ago

Quick update:

IU Riley North, Wednesday, 29 NOV, 1000: All slots filled. Alternate slots available.

Peyton Manning Children's Hospital, Thursday, 30 NOV, 1100. Five slots remaining, plus alternate slots.

Riley Children's Hospital (downtown), Friday 15 DEC, TIME CHANGE... NOW 1330. Our Child Life Specialist, Melissa, has requested that we arrive in the Child Life Room at 1330 now in order to set up craft stations and prepare for the kids' arrival at 1400. Star Wars fans: Bring your Light Sabres and prepare to use the Force. Surprised, you may be, if as planned, all things go.

10 slots remaining, plus alternate slots. Mike wanted me to add that, as always, there will be a post event de-brief at the Slippery Noodle. All are invited.

Both St. Mary's dates are still TBD.

Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns, and please let me know if you would like to attend any of these events!


Dan Ferracciolo
Indy PFK Coordinator


The 2017 Indy PFK Season is upon us!

Last updated 1 month ago

Dear Indy PFK:

The 2017 Indy PFK visitation season is upon us. Last year we visited 187 kids at St. Mary's Child care centers, 100% of whom live in poverty and 146 hospitalized kids in three children's hospitals. Let's do it again!

This year we will again visit all three local children's hospitals and both campuses of St. Mary's Child Care Center. As has become usual and customary, we will be slot limited due to infection and staffing protocol at the hospitals. There are no slot limits at either campus of St. Mary's, however, so the more the merrier and maximum pilot induced buffoonery (PIB) is expected and appreciated. St. Mary's has adopted a new all-day format at both campuses. There are no longer any half-day sessions so we will go to each campus only once in the morning as opposed to going twice to each campus as we have done in years past. What this means for us is a greater amount of time with fewer kids. Should be fun.

To our new members (we have many, from all over the industry) - welcome aboard! If this is your first visitation season with us, you can get an idea of what each visit looks like by viewing the pics from last year on our web page: pilotsforkids.org > members > IND. Please come to each event in the uniform of your choice: Airline, Military (bags ok) or corporate, and be prepared to engage with the kids and have fun. IOE will be provided. It's all about distracting the kids from whatever medical condition or life circumstance that they are experiencing at the moment. I am so grateful for your enthusiasm and willingness to participate in Indy PFK events. I think you will find that we get a lot more out of it than the kids do.

2017 Schedule:

IU Riley North: Wednesday, 29 NOV, 1000. Five slots. Traditional room to room visits.

Peyton Manning Children's Hospital: Thursday, 30 NOV, 1100. 12 slots. Traditional room to room visits.

Riley Children's Hospital (downtown): Friday, 15 DEC. 1330-1530. 20 slots. Kids and families come to us as we set up gift and craft stations in the Child Life Room on the main level. Possibly some limited room to room visits. As always, Mike Meskis is coordinating this event. Thank you Mike! (BTW...Star Wars fans are not going to want to miss this event...more later)

St. Mary's (both campuses): TBD. Longtime Indy PFK member Chris Fuson is coordinating the St. Mary's visits for me this year. He will have his schedule from UAL on 17 NOV. I will relay dates and times for both St. Mary's visits on or about that date. Many thanks to Chris for helping me coordinate these events.

As always I will relay the details (place to meet, where to park, etc.) of each visit to those who plan to attend as the date for each event approaches.

Thanks to your continued generosity we are in solid financial shape to start off the new season. This year our toy account received a $2500 kick start courtesy of the FedEx Pilot's Charitable Fund. Additionally, we have some leftover funds from 2016 and some of our members donate to our toy account monthly or quarterly throughout the year. If you would like to make a donation to our toy account this year, please go to our website: pilotsforkids.org , click on the donate button and follow the directions. Be sure to select IND-Ferracciolo on the drop down menu. If you would like to send a check, please email me and I'll relay directions on how to do so. 100% of your tax-deductible donation goes directly to the kids we visit here locally.

I know some of you are anxious for news regarding our themed room at PMCH. Many thanks to those who have enquired about its status. The past two weeks have been especially productive...meeting with contractors, finalizing the north wall design, etc. Once the Purchase Order from the Foundation to the final contractor is approved, I will have a better idea of a timeline for a dedication and grand opening. Please look for an email and web-page update from me soon regarding our progress.

Thank YOU for your generosity of time, donations, enthusiasm, and spirit. You make it possible for us to distract a child, if only for a moment, from his or her life circumstances or medical condition and brighten their day. It is my honor and privilege to be your Indy PFK Coordinator. Please let me know if you would like to attend any of this year's visits.


Dan Ferracciolo
Indy PFK Coordinator


Donor Reception with Peyton Manning

Last updated 3 months ago

Four members of Indy Pilots For Kids (PFK) had the opportunity to attend a private donor reception hosted by the St.Vincent Foundation during the afternoon of August 29th. Representatives from 14 groups and organizations were recognized at the reception for their fundraising efforts in support of Peyton Manning Children's Hospital in Indianapolis. Indy PFK was honored at the event for its success in sponsoring a PFK/Airplane themed room (still under construction) at the hospital. Peyton Manning personally expressed his gratitude to each of the individuals who attended the reception. He was gracious, humble, engaging, self deprecating and sincere in his appreciation. Please see the pictures below.

PFK/Airplane Room Grand Opening and Dedication Delayed

Last updated 4 months ago

Dear Indy PFK,

The design centerpiece of our room at PMCH, the DC-6 coming out of the North wall, will not be completed by September 8th. Please know, however, that the St. Vincent Foundation and hospital staff are working very hard to meet my expectations of that wall (and every other design element of the room). Please accept my apology for this schedule change and the inconvenience that it may cause. Given the circumstances I am convinced that delaying the opening until the room is completely finished is the right thing to do. I'll be sure to let you know of the new Grand Opening and Dedication as far in advance of the new date as possible. Please take a look at some of the progress (pics below) that has been made so far.

PFK/Airplane room update

Last updated 4 months ago

Dear Indy PFK,

Behind this door (see pics below) a runway is getting painted, an airplane is under construction, a fanciful flight deck is getting assembled and our long held goal of establishing our PFK/Airplane themed room at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital in Indianapolis is coming to fruition.

Our grand opening and dedication is scheduled for Friday, September 8th. Some words will be spoken, there will be a dedication, and there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony at the room itself. All are invited, including spouses and family members. We will meet in the lobby at PMCH (where we assemble before our annual visits) at 10 AM. Pilots are requested to be in uniform. Please let me know if you plan to attend.

Don't forget to check out our website: pilotsforkids.org > Members > IND for the latest updates and pics. Thanks to YOUR generosity we are over funded, ahead of schedule, and our display cases are fully stocked with some pretty cool stuff. I am confident that you will be pleased and I hope you will consider attending our grand opening and dedication in September.


Dan Ferracciolo
Indy PFK Coordinator


Plans for our PFK Airplane room at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital

Last updated 8 months ago

Please take a look at the plans below in the photo gallery.

Dear Indy PFK,

It is a pleasure to present this update to you for your review.

The rendition of the DC-6 on the north wall is not just a painting. It is a dimensional model that will be "flying" out of the wall. The leading edges of the wings, the cowlings, the radome, and the propellers will be made of PVC or similar material and protrude from the wall about six inches. The remainder of the airplane depiction will be painted. The white rectangle over the wing box area is a light fixture that must remain on the wall but will be painted to match the airplane. The size of the wings and hence the scale of rest of the DC-6 was designed to facilitate the blending of the light fixture into the wings, cowls, and forward fuselage.

After landing his/her DC-6 on RWY 22 (Floor Plan), our aviator-patient will have the option of taking off again by moving to the fanciful flight deck rendition on the south wall. Yoke, pedals, and a view out of the flight deck windshield awaits for imaginary flying fun. The propeller on the south wall is a real wooden propeller donated by one of our members. It will be in it's own plexiglass case.

The west wall, in addition to the couch and window, will include custom display cases, art work/pictures and a custom made plexiglass enclosed valence over the window. The valence is a dimensional case which will contain patches and small aircraft models diplayed in plan view. The items depicted in the wall cases in this rendition of the plan are representative of what may be displayed. The cases will be partially lined with aeronautical charts. Art work will include "Indy Pilots For Kids" lithographs from the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds. The representative from the Thunderbirds politely suggested that I display the Blue Angels litho in the lavatory. Just a little friendly rivalry.

The east wall depicts a UH-1 with an "Expand Your Horizons" graphic over the door. This is in honor of Ed Faath, founder and president of Pilots For Kids. Ed flew "Huey's" during the Vietnam conflict. He was inspired to help hospitalized children during the war and vowed to somehow do so upon his return home. He succeeded.

Based on the hospital's need for rooms, construction will begin in early to mid summer. When construction is complete and the room certified patient ready, the St. Vincent Foundation will host a grand opening ceremony at the hospital to which we are all invited. Please look for further updates from me via email and on our website.

Due to generous donations by many of our members, we have just about everything we need for our display cases. I'm still a little short, however, on wings, insignia, and patches (commercial or military) for the valence.

THANK YOU for supporting this initiative and making our PFK/Airplane room possible!


Dan Ferracciolo

Coordinator, Indy Pilots For Kids

Captain Arthur W. Hiatt Circle of Honor

Last updated 10 months ago

Dear Indy PFK,

With Janet Hiatt's blessing and St. Vincent Foundation approval, I am announcing the Captain Arthur W. Hiatt Circle of Honor Fundraising Campaign. As many of you know, FedEx Captain Art Hiatt was a long time Indy PFK member, devoted father and husband, and a close friend to many of our members. This campaign will recognize and honor his memory and the legacy of his involvement in Indy PFK with a Captain Arthur W. Hiatt Circle of Honor plaque proudly displayed in our themed room. Those individuals and organizations who donate $1000.00 or more will have their name represented on that plaque.

If you would like to participate in this fund raising campaign, or donate any amount toward our room, please visit our dedicated PFK/Airplane room donation website: give.stvincent.org/airplaneroom or contact me directly if you would like to donate via personal or bank check.

Thank you for your amazing generosity and for taking ownership in our campaign to fund, design, build, and maintain a permanent PFK/Airplane room at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital.


Dan Ferracciolo
Indy PFK Coordinator

We did it!!

Last updated 10 months ago

We have done it! The last official report from the St. Vincent Foundation put our total at $52,341.27!

In addition to the above total, FedEx Express has pledged a $5000.00 donation at the beginning of the new fiscal year (01 June). Any funds over and above the required $50k will also be used directly in the design and construction of our room.

The next step is the design phase. I'm in the process now of scheduling our first meeting with the St.Vincent Foundation and BSA Design. Please look for periodic updates via email and on our website as the design phase progresses, and if you have any room design ideas, please let me know.


Dan Ferracciolo
Indy PFK Coordinator

Items needed for our PFK/Airplane room at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital

Last updated 10 months ago

Dear Indy PFK members,

Last Wednesday we had our first design consult for our future PFK/Airplane room. Susie and I met with representatives from the St. Vincent Foundation, the hospital, and BSA Design at the foundation offices in Indianapolis.

The meeting lasted about 90 minutes, during which we came up with a preliminary design that I believe will capture the imagination of the the kids who spend time in our room. Although most of the room's decor will be custom made by BSA Design, I need some art work or pictures to place on the walls and some items to fill our display cases. If you have access to and are willing to donate any of the following, please send me a brief description and preferably, a picture of the item:

Airplane models. Ideally, I would like to see a model from each of our companies...about the same size as the one in the attached picture. I have FedEx covered, I need everybody else..and yes, UPS included (smallish model ok).

Aircraft propeller(s). Like a big wooden one to hang on a wall or stand up in a corner behind glass.

Yoke, rudder pedals, throttle quadrant, stick.

Old instruments, radios, microphones, headsets, E6B, charts.

Company/Squadron patches, insignia, Airline/Military wings.

Helmets, Oxygen masks, aircrew equipment.

Since we are fully funded ahead of schedule, our timeline for construction has moved up. We are slated for construction from June 26th-July 28th with our room dedication in mid to late August.

I will FWD your pics to the designers who will help determine which of the items we can use on the available wall space and in the custom made glass covered cases for permanent display.

THANK YOU, for your incredible generosity, for your moral support of this initiative, for making this possible!

Dan Ferracciolo
Indy PFK Coordinator
Secretary, Pilots For Kids Organization


Indy PFK 2016 Season Recap

Last updated 11 months ago

Three hospitals, two pre-school visits, a new initiative to establish a permanent PFK/Airplane themed room at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital, dozens of new Indy PFK members, tremendous participation at each event, Pilot Induced Buffoonery (PIB), drones, and one sensational season.

The 48 kids at St. Mary's downtown campus (02 DEC) and the 139 kids at St. Mary's Ft. Ben Campus (12 DEC) enjoyed the highest pilot to kid ratio we have ever provided for a pre-school visit. 19 pilots downtown and 15 pilots at Ft. Ben read stories and engaged in raucous PIB with the kids. Every pre-schooler received an aircraft toy, pilot hat, wings, sunglasses, coloring books, a purple teddy bear, and a large activity tin. Captain Baldy swooped in for a visit too. The kids enjoyed his antics (only a few cried at first) and that he was handing (feathering?) out purple bears and candy canes. Most importantly, however, a lot of kids who are living in difficult circumstances enjoyed positive personal interaction with some authority figures in blue suits and funny hats.

We had a five slot limit at our IU Riley North visit on 07 DEC. This visit historically has a light patient census (10-15 patients). Not so this year. We interfaced with 34 kids of all ages, from infants to young adults in oncology, on the floors, and in post-op and recovery. Thanks to some dedicated child life specialists (and my amazing wife), we were prepared with cart loads of age and gender appropriate gifts.

Peyton Manning Children's Hospital was next on 09 DEC. We had ten slots. So, 13 of us (I have to over book a little in case of no shows, right?) visited 32 kids in traditional room to room visits on both patient floors. We also saw our future PFK/Airplane room. 3019. Oncology floor. Right between the Peyton Manning room and the baseball room and across the hall from the activity center. Very cool.

Riley Children's Hospital downtown capped off the season on 16 DEC. We were slot limited to 20 this year. Our PFK members set up gift and craft stations in the Child Life Room at Riley where 80 kids and their families came to visit. Our members engaged with the kids while handing out gifts, told them (mostly true) flying stories and helped them build and paint a craft. Like last year, we again enjoyed a generous donation from the Central Indiana Wood Workers in the form of 80 beautiful hand made solid wood airplane models. Our pilots eagerly administered IOE on how to paint and properly fly the models.

Special thanks this year to Lori Walton of FedEx Services for facilitating the donation of 350 purple FedEx bears, Bob Chastain of Central Indiana Wood Workers for having his organization fabricate 80 solid wood airplane models, and long time Indy PFK member, Mike Meskis for coordinating our annual Riley downtown visit. A special thank you also to the lovely and gracious Mrs. Captain Dan for ensuring that each child receives an age and gender appropriate gift. If it weren't for her efforts, each kid, boy or girl, infant to college aged would get a drone. After all, drones fly, and anything that flies is cool. Right? Thank YOU for your generosity of time, donations, enthusiasm, and spirit. You make it possible for us to distract a child, if only for a moment, from his or her life circumstances or medical condition and brighten their day. It is my honor and privilege to be your Indy PFK Coordinator.


Dan Ferracciolo
Indy PFK Coordinator

Upcoming Events

No upcoming events available. Contact the coordinator to see if there is an event they haven't posted yet!

Past Events

Events from the past year are displayed here. Please check below this section to see if pictures from these events are posted!

Riley Children's Hospital, Indianapolis (downtown)

Friday, December 15th, 2017 - 13:30 to 15:30 EST

We meet in the event room, set up craft and toy stations and the kids come to us. Lots of them. And their families too. We also provide gifts for the kids who cannot leave their rooms in traditional room to room visits.

Dress Code: Uniform
Get Directions: 705 Riley Hospital Dr., Indianapolis, IN 46202
RSVP: All slots filled

St. Mary's Child Care Center, Gillatte Building (FT. Ben)

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017 - 09:30 to 11:30 EST

Break out your inner kid and come play airline pilot with a bunch of kids who could really use a distraction from their life circumstances.

Dress Code: Uniform
Get Directions: 9230 Hawkins Road, Indianapolis IN 46216
RSVP: email, call or text, No slot limit.

St. Mary's Child Care Center, Thompson Building (downtown)

Thursday, December 7th, 2017 - 09:30 to 11:30 EST

Break out your inner kid and come play pilot with a bunch of kids who could use a distraction from their life circumstances.

Dress Code: Uniform
Get Directions: 901 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street, Indianapolis, IN 46216
RSVP: email, call or text No slot limit

Peyton Manning Children's Hospital, Indianapolis

Thursday, November 30th, 2017 - 11:00 to 13:00 EST

Traditional room to room and ICU visits

Dress Code: Uniform
Get Directions: 2001 West 86th Street, Entrance 4, Indianapolis, IN 46260
RSVP: All slots filled

IU Riley North Children's Hospital, Carmel

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017 - 10:00 to 12:00 EST

Traditional room to room and ICU visits.

Dress Code: Uniform
Get Directions: 11700 North Meridian Street, Carmel, IN
RSVP: All slots filled

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