President’s Corner

by Scott Thompson
Chapter President

As usual, there is a lot of activity going on in the chapter, but not much of it will be visible to most of you. Primary among this behind-the curtain activity was the selection process for the two young people we are sending to the EAA Air Academy this July at Oshkosh, Wisconsin. We have had an able team of three board members, Cheryl Andrade, John House, and Darren Coomier, working on the selection process since early January. This group thoroughly evaluated the nine applicants, including conducting individual interviews with each of them. I was not involved in the process, but I saw them at work and know it was difficult to make selections.

The quality of their work is evident in that, as announced elsewhere in this newsletter, Amy Whelan and Sarah Wallin were selected. They will go to separate Air Academy camps this summer. It was a good experience for the chapter’s inaugural effort at sponsorship for the Air Academy, and I expect that we will continue this program into the years ahead.

We are also moving forward on planning our next Young Eagle Rally scheduled for Saturday, May 4. We will be soon asking for volunteer ground crew and pilots to help pull this event off. We expect to fly eighty young people this time around. Cheryl Andrade is our chapter’s Young Eagle Coordinator and she can answer any questions about the coming Rally. We also have a new online process for signups for pilots, volunteers, and Young Eagles that should make things easy and quick.

Beginning in April, we should also be starting our pancake breakfast support of the LRAA Display Day, which occurs on the third Saturday of each month. We took a winter break but come April 20 we will be back at the airport’s gazebo area, Dug with spatula in hand and batter in the bowl. We can always use help to pull off the breakfast, and 100% of the proceeds support our Richard and Susan Bristow Memorial Scholarship Fund, which pays for the Air Academy sponsorships and much more. It is all sort of connected.

And, speaking of Dug, I will honorably mention Dug Smith who, among other things, is the guy usually behind the grill flipping pancakes and hamburgers. At the last BBQ lunch earlier this month I looked up often and, as usual, saw Dug back there behind the grill, reliably and tirelessly doing a very necessary job. Next time you see him, give him a “Bobbity Jib” or whatever the British English guys say to mean… “thanks for doing a great job.”