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2019 Brown Arch Brick Award Winners Announced
By Sam Oleson
July 26, 2019 - Every volunteer who contributes to making EAA AirVenture Oshkosh the World's Greatest Aviation Celebration deserves thanks, but the Brown Arch Brick Awards exist to give special attention to a few people who go above and beyond.
The 2019 Brown Arch Brick Award recipients are Jim Heindl, Dennis and Judy Mangan, and the B-25 Berlin Express restoration team. There will also be a brick honoring 50 years of volunteers in Oshkosh.
Jim, EAA 570224, has been volunteering with EAA since 1993, primarily with flightline operations. As a co-chairman, Jim is an important cog in making sure everything runs smoothly throughout the week.
"I am responsible for other volunteers that are assigned to me to work a certain position on the field," Jim explained. "We are primarily north of [runways] 18 and 36, and our positions are all interspersed in through there. Each day we get assigned to a different area. And of course then we get a different group of people depending on who signed up and who is the vice chairman assigned to that area. When I find out who they are, we basically all introduce each other and that, find out if they've been volunteering in flightline ops before or have not. And if they haven't, if they're still able to fulfill the assigned position. But I won't micromanage, but I'll just kind of shadow them out there to make sure that everything's safe for them and us."
Meanwhile, Dennis, EAA 310346, and Judy have been volunteering for 12 years, working in a variety of areas and performing different tasks. Starting in the carpenter shop, the two have also filled potholes, worked in the volunteer kitchen, painted, coordinated and dispersed rental cars, cleaned and fixed up scooters, and just about anything else you can think of.
"It feels great to receive this," Dennis said. "It was great to get the nomination. And surprising. Because we didn't think we do any more than anyone else."
Finally, the numerous volunteers who've spent years helping to restore Berlin Express will also be awarded a Brown Arch Brick Award, which will be presented by Sean Elliott, EAA vice president of advocacy and safety.
"The EAA volunteers, known as the "Berlin Express Volunteer Group", or BEVG, have shown that EAA volunteerism and 'the heart of the volunteer' remains the most powerful force within the EAA culture today," Sean said. "Having spent the last four and a half years working with EAA staff to fully restore EAA's B-25 to proudly represent the organization from coast to coast shows the dedication and love for aviation that is deeply ingrained in the EAA volunteer community. With over 10,000 hours of work resulting in what is arguably one of the nicest airworthy B-25s on the circuit today shows what this organization and its membership can accomplish together."
The winners will be presented with the Brown Arch Brick Awards on Friday at 9 a.m. near the titular Brown Arch.