Tuesday, December 28, 2010

White Dove Christmas

Fredericksburg.com - A TIMELY SIGN FROM ABOVE? - page 1 FLS

A member of the WDRP recently had one of his white release doves take a trip far from home. Evidently the white homing pigeon accidentally escaped from it's loft, and was heading back to the loft it formerly lived in. Many miles from where it started, the pure white pigeon landed in a yard on Christmas day to rest. The family who found the bird was able to contact the owner because the bird was wearing a permanent identification band. These bands are used by white dove release professionals and by pigeon racers to aid in the recovery of lost or injured birds. The bands are marked so that anyone who happens to find a banded pigeon can contact the owner of the bird without too much difficulty. The owner can then make arrangements to pick up their bird. The family felt a special blessing came to them when the little white dove chose to rest at their house on Christmas day.

Monday, November 29, 2010

White Dove Releases featured on Veteran's Day 2010

White Dove Memorial Release

White Dove Release Professionals members Frank and Mary Jean Fanni have been in the professional white dove release business in Lakeland, Florida for over 10 years. They were featured in a local news report on Veteran's Day, 2010.

Click on this link to view the news video, and read the story:
Featured White Release Doves Story on BayNews9

White Dove Release Professionals are available in many locations. See our directory below to find the WDRP member nearest you.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remembering the Fallen Heroes of 9/11

On September 11, 2009, Mary Jean and Frank Fanni of A Touch Above organized a dove release at Scott Lake Elementary School in Lakeland, Florida. Fifty doves flew off as local fire, police, city representatives, students and teachers released them. After a presentation by Mary Jean Fanni, the students and staff sang America the Beautiful to honor the lives of those lost in the terrorist attacks in 2001.

This year, as the ninth anniversary of the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon draws near, it is important to remember that there are people all over the world who are still affected by the loss of loved ones from the tragic events of that day in 2001.

Many communities have set aside special places to honor and memorialize those who gave their lives. They want to remember the victims of the attacks, and also the men and women who were willing participants in the rescue attempts of others.

It takes a great deal of time and effort to organize and fund the building of new memorials, and so, even eight, nine and ten years later there is news of a new memorial being completed and dedicated. For example, last year, in 2009, the Firefighters and Law Enforcement Fallen Heroes Plaza at Cherry Hill Park in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho was finally completed and dedicated. A large flock of white doves were released as a part of the dedication ceremony. Even though this memorial was dedicated eight years after the 9/11 attacks, people in attendance were deeply moved by the ceremony; the soaring white doves being a reminder of both sacrifice and freedom.

This is just one example of the many Patriot Day white dove releases performed by members of the White Dove Release Professionals in communities who refuse to let the memory of 9/11 die away with the passing of time.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Reasons Why I Love Having White Doves and Homing Pigeons in My Life...


Kathy of Doves of White near Sacramento, CA shares how her love for pigeons began:

“My husband built our loft over 25 years ago. He had pigeons as a kid, and thought the idea of racing homers was a swell idea. I didn't! And I couldn't believe the money he was putting into building this building...for pigeons! He got his first birds from some of the local flyers. A few had "prettier coloring," so I laid claim to a pied cock I dubbed Zipper. Zipper was fairly respectful in the races, so when another local flyer and pigeon judge gave us a foundation quality hen I took her as Zipper's mate. They had some super babies! Okay, so this racing idea was kind of fun.

Then another of Don's buddies suggested I get some white birds, and I could make some money doing wedding releases. So, I built a smaller loft, and he gave me 11 of my first white birds. There is almost a spiritual connection when seeing the birds and watching them fly; I was hooked.

A few years later, Don gave up on the idea of racing. So my white bird business moved up the hill to the big loft. I now have it stocked with plenty of the whites plus a few race bred birds. I'm still trying to "make some money" but the love I have for these special birds is here to stay.”

Macy of White Wings New York Dove Releases says:

“My story is so similar to Kathy's! I was laughing all the way through reading it; except whites kept coming our way. Hubby kept saying, “No way.”, “No room.”, “Whites would interfere with race birds.” etc., as he was big into racing then.

You know how it goes; odd happenings translate into being pushed in a certain direction. We finally relented, and we got our first white babies from a local guy that raised whites and trained them "for fun". I don't even remember how we knew him or found him. Things just fell into place like it was supposed to happen. He looked like Santa Claus, and that's how we referred to him. He worked locally, and my birds would fly over where he worked when I was training. He told me he got such a thrill seeing them flying. To this day his babies are still some of my best birds.”

Bill from Doves of Love in Pennsylvania recalls how he got started with pigeons:

“My father raised birds in the 1930’s, and actually flew some in WWII with the 101st Airborne. I had my first flock in the1950’s. I remember we would purchase them from the Sears and Roebuck catalog. I had fantails, rollers and a few racers, and I recall taking them to the train station for shipping. My pigeon days ended when a neighbor’s coon killed my entire flock. I was devastated, and stopped raising birds then.

I was away from the birds for 30 years when my mother thought it would be nice if my youngest son raised pigeons. We met a great pigeon flyer who flew with the Army’s Pigeon Corps. He provided us with birds and knowledge. Soon we were in a club, and my son was flying and actually doing quite well. The nearest club was over an hour away, so we had lots of time to bond. The birds were our life and love. We had over 100 homers, and they all had names.

My son grew older, and the birds were now in my care. I raced for years, and found more pleasure watching the birds come home than in winning. Gas prices went up, and my racing declined. A friend gave me a couple of white birds, and introduced us to wedding dove releases. My wife and I always strive for perfection when we do our dove releases. Our first release was from a lakeside gazebo, and we have been hooked ever since. We keep saying we need to stop flying, but the beauty of the birds in flight is breathtaking, and the thrill of the release never goes away.”

Frank, from Flights of White in Wilmington, Massachusetts tells how his lifelong love of pigeons was instilled:

“My story begins as a very young lad living in Rockland, Me. At high tide I was under the fishing wharfs taking the feral young pigeons just before flight. I built my own lofts for my birds, and got lots of left over grains to feed them from train boxcars after being unloaded. I loved the outdoor life, and the many creations our Lord blessed us with. Those were the days.

Then I saw my first argent Modenas, and it was love at first sight. The person who had them just returned from WW II. It was this man who took me under his wings, and taught me the genetics of the birds which gave them their different colorings.
After high school I went into the service, and this ended my first few years with birds.

After four years in the service I started my career with IBM, and then got married. I still had no birds in my life. I was relocated to MA, and it was here my love for the birds began anew. Of course, it had to be the argents once again.

My oldest son developed a love for the Modena breed, and for genetics. The spring and summer months were on the dull side for him until he met a couple of new friends who had racing homers. After speaking with his mother we began his racing side of the hobby. Anyway, after he grew up, and started his career he moved from home. This ended our having racing homers as I didn't have the time to do them justice. My son was very successful with his birds, and it required a lot of time to keep them there.

After I fully retired, and for other reasons, but still having my argents, I received some white homers from friends of mine in the Modena hobby, and started my ministry (as my wife puts it) in doing white dove releases, never intending for this side of the hobby to become any type of business. Being retired, and loving my backyard pigeons for many, many years, I just wanted to maintain my love and passion for them. Doing white dove releases was a way in which the birds paid for their upkeep.

If I do enough releases per year to keep them, I am a happy person. And at the same time, I am able to give some type of peaceful closure to families losing a love one, or a joyous unforgettable memory for persons attending weddings. With blessings from HIM up above, HE has provided for me and my love for his creations.”

Joel of Desert Doves in San Bernardino County, CA attributes his love for pigeons to his early days:

“I can remember my first pair of blue bar homers like it was yesterday. It was over 50 years ago. I was hooked. Many of my buddies got some birds, and we lived pigeons; built lofts, flew them, etc. Then one guy took me over to another guy’s house. He had some whites. He was older, maybe 16, and had a 3 section loft. WOW! He had very few white birds, maybe 3 pair, but those had a couple of babies about 5 weeks old. He took some of his pure white ones out, walked about 25 feet away from the loft, tossed them into the air, and they flew right to the trap. In they went. It was beautiful to me.

I gave up my birds a couple years later, but forty years after that I found I still had the bug. I got some whites, and built a loft during the couple of years that I was a care-giver for my 90 year old mother. I decided to try the white bird release business, and as I got ready to start it turned out that my mother’s funeral was my first actual white dove release. Since 2001 I have done hundreds of events. I never lose my love for these birds.”

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Symbolism of the White Dove

Many brides ask about the symbolism of white doves in a wedding ceremony. Some are familiar with the fact that the birds will "mate for life", which is true. But what they don't see is the true devotion these birds have to one another.  

The doves will pick a nest and always return to it. They will lovingly groom each other and whisper their quiet cooing. When the eggs are laid, both parents take turns incubating them and when the chicks emerge, both share in the feeding and rearing of the young. When they are separated for any length of time and then reunited, there is a joyous greeting when once again they are together.

What a fitting gesture to have these beautiful birds attend your wedding, whether it be in a decorative display cage for your guests to view, or when they put on their magical display during a flock release. The symbolism is much more than the joy and celebration that your guests will witness.  The white doves are also a symbol of home-building, teamwork, love, commitment, affection and lasting devotion.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

White Doves Fly for The American Widow Project

A member of the White Dove Release Professionals was honored to provide memorial white dove releases at a very special event this past weekend.

A young lady from Texas named Taryn Davis started the American Widow Project after her husband was killed in Iraq when she was only 23 years old. Now Taryn travels all over the country to hold retreats for other widows who have lost their husbands in the war in Iraq or Afghanistan. They most recently held a retreat near Orlando, Florida, and included a white dove release ceremony in their plans.

Taryn arranged for the 12 widows to gather on a dock overlooking a lake. One at a time each widow stood in the front and either talked or read from a journal about her pain, and things she wanted to release. Then she was handed a white dove to release. Each one was so very emotional. None of the widows were more than 25 years old.

After each of the ladies finished releasing her dove they released one last bird as a group. They gathered in a semi-circle and each one reached over so they were touching the bird. Some were saying things like, "This is for you, Baby" or "I love you (followed by husband's name)". It was so incredible when they released that final bird together. This memorial white dove release brought a lot of tears, laughter, release and healing to these ladies. It was absolutely beautiful. As a side note, PBS is doing a special the weekend of Memorial Day about these ladies, and a camera man was there filming the release.

The American Widow Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to the new generation of those who have lost the heroes of yesterday, today and tomorrow, with an emphasis on healing through sharing stories, tears and laughter………Military Widow to Military Widow.

Taryn Davis, 23, was living the “normal” life; She had married her soul mate, was about to graduate college, and had her future with him to look forward to. That was until May 21, 2007. Her husband had been killed by multiple roadside bombs just an hour and a half after they last spoke. Feeling lost and alone in the new world she’d been thrown into, she began traveling around the country to hear other women’s stories of love, tragedy… and overall survival. In hearing their accounts, she hoped to learn more about the title that been had given to her… that of a military widow.

What began as her own personal journey has expanded into a non-profit organization, a documentary film, and a growing website. She has grasped on and embraced her new life with all the enthusiasm and passion she had when Michael was still alive. Inspired solely off the willpower and strength of the women “in her shoes” she has found that true love is eternal, that the lessons and things her husband said and did still run through her veins, and mostly….she is not alone.

The above excerpt is quoted from the official American Widow Project website. http://www.americanwidowproject.org/