Giving Back to the community

Jim Dubay
Jim Dubay
Wings of the North volunteer Jim Dubay

The James F. Dubay Memorial Scholarship was born out of a desire to encourage those who dream of flight to find their wings.

 Jim Dubay dedicated many hours to learning everything he could about planes and history, especially about WWII. He was a founder and board member of Wings of the North. Hardworking and dedicated, the greatest lesson he taught his family and others was that one could survive the rat race if they were pursuing a passion. Throughout his life, Jim touched the hearts of many people by making them laugh or listening to their stories, sharing his knowledge or lending a hand when work needed to be done. “That Works for Me!” was a favorite retort.

In Jim’s memory, his family and Wings of the North have established a scholarship fund to allow others the chance to learn and grow in the aviation field. This scholarship is designed to encourage adults to pursue their dreams of flight while dealing with the day-to-day obstacles of work and family.


Meet Our Past Scholarship Recipients

2023 Dubay Scholarship Recipient Sarah Haskett


The 2023 Wings of the North/James Dubay Scholarship winner is Sarah Haskett of Midland, Michigan.  She was selected from more than 60 applications we received this year.  Sarah is an educator who flies for the Young Eagles Program in her local EAA Chapter.  She recently earned her Instrument Rating and will use the WOTN Scholarship funds to help her work toward her Commercial License.  She hopes to eventually get her CFI and CFII so she can help teach the next generation of pilots.  Congratulations, Sarah.

2021 Dubay Scholarship Recipient Alyssa Voit

Alyssa Voit - 2021 Dubay Scholarship winner  Alyssa Voit - 2021 Dubay Scholarship winner with the check, Buzz and Bob Jasperson  Alyssa Voit - 2021 Dubay Scholarship winner with Bob Jasperson sitting in a T-6 Texan

Wings of the North is pleased to announce Alyssa Voit as the 2021 Dubay Scholarship winner! Alyssa was selected from among over 30 applications to receive this $2,000 scholarship to pursue her aviation studies. Congratulations Alyssa! We wish you all the best in your pursuit of our shared aviation passion!

2017 Dubay Scholarship Recipient Larissa Vculek

Hi! I am Larissa Vculek, your 2017 Dubay Scholarship winner. I am extremely grateful to be awarded this year’s scholarship, and had a blast attending the Pancake Feed, seeing the museum, meeting the members, and learning what Wings of the North is all about. What an awesome organization and great members!

Now to a brief history on my involvement with aviation. My dad got his Private Pilot’s license when he was 18 and has flown on the side ever since. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be in control of something so powerful. However, being from a small-farm-town-in North Dakota and not knowing many people in an aviation career, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to pursue it for a living or do it for fun. After a tour at Minnesota State University, Mankato and meeting with some flight students, I had made a decision. And it was an easy decision. I wanted to become a professional pilot.

I am currently a junior in the Aviation Professional Flight program at MSU and vice president of our Women in Aviation chapter. I work as a dispatcher at North Star Aviation where I flight train. I got my Private Pilot’s License in February and my Instrument Rating in May. I am currently working on the Commercial Rating and plan to get my Instructor Ratings as well. When not studying, flying, or working, I enjoy horseback riding, running, yoga, and anything that involves promoting aviation!

Thanks, Wings of the North, for promoting aviation and all you do for your current and future pilots as we strive to advance in the world of aviation.


2015 Scholarship Winner is Jacob Walczynski

2015 Scholarship Winner is Jacob Walczynski

After graduating high school in 2010, I attended Lake Superior College in Duluth Mn and Fon Du Lac Tribal and Community College out of Cloquet Mn. In the spring of 2013 I graduated FDLTCC with both an Associate of Science and Associate of Arts degree. I also finished their law enforcement program so I am currently POST certified in Minnesota. The following fall I enrolled at the University of Minnesota, Mankato to finish their Professional Flight program. I will be graduating the spring of 2015.

Aviation Training: Private Pilot, Instrument rating, Commercial Single Engine Land and Multi-Engine Land, Tail Wheel endorsement, High Performance Endorsement and complex endorsement.

I have been a member of the Civil Air Patrol since the spring of 2013. I partake in the weekly meetings as well as assist in delivering aircraft for maintenance and scheduled inspections. I also help with cleaning of the wings aircraft. In the beginning of November I began as a tutor for the MSU students that were working on their Private and Instrument licences. I give review lessons to students as they near check rides and I also assist in the simulator, setting up scenarios for the instrument students. Since enrolling at MSU, I have volunteered as a Lector for the on campus Catholic church. In the fall of 2012 I was part of the security crew for the Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth MN and the Annual Lions Club breakfast at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.

I plan to use my Law Enforcement Degree and Professional Pilot degree to work for the Department of Natural Resources as a Pilot and Conservation Officer. If I am able to combine these two as I plan, I will be able to do both of my dream jobs. Once the ice leaves this spring, I hope to start training for my float endorsement. Until than, I will continue to work on my instructor certificates.

Besides being a symbol of freedom and imagination, both things our country prides itself in, aviation is important to our economy as a product itself and in the fact it enables other businesses to grow. The sale of airplanes and airplane related product counts for a large portion of our countries total export. This promotes a large flow of capital back into our country. More important then the actual sales of aircraft is aviation’s ability to expedite business in our country. With the use of air travel, a small business owner can visit and inspect all of his businesses that may cover several states in a single day. This would not be possible if he was stuck to roads. Aviation also promotes tourism spending. Air travel gives a family the ability to take a trip during a shorter period of time then would be needed if the family was limited to travel in a car. This results in more people traveling and thus more spending. This spending inside of a country is what leads to a healthy economy. Much of this spending would not be possible without aviation.

Jill Berge Wins 2014 Dubay Scholarship Primary tabs

Jill Berge Wins 2014 Dubay Scholarship Primary tabs

I usually begin my story with calling myself the “Unexpected Pilot.” A couple of weeks ago I passed my private pilot written exam and Wow, was that a challenge! My next goal is to obtain my private pilot license and then to go on and get my instrument rating, really extending the type of flying and conditions which I am qualified for. In all honesty I am still in awe of the whole process. I am challenged everyday beyond what I thought I could do and it is tough indeed. I have a wonderful support team of instructors at Inflight Pilot Training that whole heartily believe in me and making this goal a reality. I had to laugh the other day, I found myself reading Flight Magazine for fun. This is my new reality and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Aaron Halpin of Eden Prairie Wins 2013 Scholarship

Aaron Halpin of Eden Prairie Wins 2013 Scholarship

I am currently pursuing my private pilot’s license and am enrolled as a freshmen at the University of North Dakota’s Aviation program for Fall 2013.

My plan is to leave UND with a Commercial rating in order to join the Navy and become a Naval aviator which I will spend the rest of my life perfecting the art of flight

Thank you,
Aaron Halpin

2012 Scholorship goes to Dan Kiely

Hi Melanie,

I hope all is well. I just wanted to pass on the good news that with the help of the Wings of the North and the James Dubay scholarship I earned my private pilot’s license two weeks ago. Despite having my check ride canceled four times in a row due to weather, we were finally able to take off in clear, albeit slightly windy weather after deicing the plane a few times. I wanted to say thank you again to everyone at Wings of the North for their support and I couldn’t have done it without the help of the James Dubay scholarship.

I look forward to continue flying (and learning) at FCM and hope to see you around the airfield!

Many thanks and happy New Year!

Dan Kiely

Lydia Wiff is Awarded the 2011 Scholarship

Thank you for awarding me your 2011 Dubay Scholarship. I was surprised and exited to receive your letter in the mail.

The schlorship will help with the cost of a flight kit and a substantial number of flying lessons. I am currently going through Ground School at InFlight Aviaition loacted at Flying Cloud Airport. The instructors are excellant and I am enjoying the classes.

Your generosity is greatly appreciated and means much to me. I hope that I can carry on James Dubay’s legacy and willingness to work hard for a goal.

I am excited to start my journey in aviation and your scholarship is making the beginning of it possible. Thank you so much!


Lydia Wiff
Cologne, MN

Marnie VonWald of Lakeville Wins the Fourth Scholarship

Dear Wings of the North,

I feel so fortunate and thankful for receiving the James F. Dubay Scholarship!!  It will help me continue my career in aviation, as I study for my private pilot check ride and begin the instrument rating ground school course.

Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity!

Marnie VonWald

Paul Connelly of LeSueur Wins the Third Scholarship

Paul Connelly of LeSueur Wins the Third Scholarship

January 22, 2004


Please accept my sincere thanks for the opportunity to receive the James F. Dubay Scholarship.  This scholarship will be used to help achieve my goal of becoming a Private Pilot.

It was a pleasure to meet all of you at Wings of the North.

Paul Connolly, Jr.
LeSueur, MN

Judith Blanchard Wins the Second Scholarship

Judith Blanchard Wins the Second Scholarship

May 1, 2002

The Family of James F. Dubay & Wings of the North

Good Morning:

Please again accept my thanks you for your generous award: I feel honored to carry on the spirit of James Dubay with my flying studies.

I must also thanks you for allowing me to sit in such a wonderful plane: that was an unexpected surprise!

I waited until today to write you because I had scheduled my IFR written for this morning: I’m happy to report that I passed with a score in the 90’s.  Now it’s time to get flying.

Thank you again!


Judith B. Blanchard

Tim Lesmeister wins the first James F. Dubay Scholarship

Enclosed is a photo shot on Friday, September 28 of myself and Barb Mack after my Private Pilot Checkride.  I passed.

I would like to once again thank you for that wonderful scholarship gift and let you know the money is going to continuing my education as I begin now for my IFR training.

Like I said when presented with the award, it’s great to have the support from organizations such as Wings of the North.  With groups like yours keeping the history of aviation in the forefront, hopefully more people will take an active interest in flying.  I also applaud the effort you display in keeping the memory of James Dubay alive through your scholarship efforts.

Tim Lesmeister

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