ChapterGram: February 2013
Chapter Spotlight: EAA Chapter 1246 (McKinney, Texas)
This month we talked to T' Marbach, newly elected president of EAA Chapter 1246 in McKinney, Texas, to learn more about the self-described "friendliest EAA chapter in Texas!"
How did you get involved with Chapter 1246?
I attended my first chapter meeting in 2011 at the request of my flight instructor. I knew of other chapters that didn't want to talk to you if you weren't working on a project; but the members of 1246 were very welcoming, so I kept coming back! The chapter helped me through the flight training process, always there to answer my questions. I eventually earned my pilot certificate in May 2012.
How has the transition to chapter president been going?
As a newer pilot I feared not having enough knowledge or aviation "connections" to keep our meetings as interesting as they had been. However, the transition has been really smooth because I have a great group of officers behind me who are always giving me new ideas to implement. Everyone pitches in and helps out because they all want the same thing: a place where they can meet and have fun.
Who makes up your membership?
We have close to 300 members and about 44 nonmembers who receive our chapter e-mails about upcoming programs and events. We're open to anyone with an interest in aviation, whether you're building, flying, or just an enthusiast. There's one guy who's not building or learning to fly because he's helping his wife get through nursing school. But he just loves being around aviation and airplanes.
What are some of the things you do at your meetings?
The very first program I scheduled was Patriot Paws, which is a local organization that trains dogs for disabled military veterans. This month we're taking a mechanics tour at the Cavanaugh Flight Museum in Addison, Texas. In addition, we hold raffles for tools, have member project updates, and invite other clubs at the airport to make announcements.
Does your chapter have a building/hangar?
No. We hold our monthly meetings at a local community college in one of their meeting rooms. A lot of the chapter members have hangars at Collin County Regional Airport, so that's where we host our other events.
What types of activities/events does your chapter do?
We started a "Coffee and Donuts" fly-in about two years ago, which takes place the first Saturday of every month at a chapter member's hangar. You don't have to be a member to attend, so it's been a really great way to introduce new people to our chapter. We also have a fish fry in the spring and a chili cook-off in the fall. I'm trying to instigate a quarterly fly-out where we visit other aviation groups and events in the area.
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