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2021 Brown Arch Brick Award Winners Announced
By Sam Oleson
July 30, 2021 – 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 2021 Brown Arch Brick Award recipients are Larry Huber, Bob McLaughlin, Lee and Paula Crevier, Dr. Stephen Leonard, and the Shay family. The recipients were honored at a ceremony on Friday morning at the Brown Arch.
Beginning in the 1980s, Larry, EAA 285890, started volunteering as a flightline volunteer in the Vintage area. Currently, he’s the vice chairman of showplane aircraft and camper registration, helping to coordinate and assist arriving pilots.
“It’s an honor,” Larry said of receiving the Brown Arch Brick Award. “I’m not a person that likes the notoriety, but I consider it quite an honor. I’ve put a lot into EAA, and EAA has given me far more than I’ve put into it.”
Bob, EAA 188831, has been a longtime volunteer at Kermit Weeks Hangar: EAA Flight Research Center in Oshkosh, as well as at AirVenture. He became the workshops chairman in 1989 and transitioned to co-chairman of the Builders Education Center & Workshops in the early 2000s, a position he held until 2016. He’s also an A&P/IA mechanic and those skills have helped immensely at the Weeks Hangar.
“I was very honored and always amazed over the years that you get recognition for doing what you love,” Bob said of receiving the award. “The reward is doing what you’re doing and being around the people you volunteer with.”
Lee, EAA 355459, and Paula, EAA 477989, began volunteering with EAA in 1991 and have helped out in a variety of areas, including Pioneer Airport, Ultralights, Convention Headquarters, and basically anywhere else needed. Having been involved as volunteers for three decades now, Lee and Paula have developed strong friendships, which, along with genuine enjoyment of their duties, has kept them coming back to Oshkosh.
“Good people,” Lee said. “We have a lot of friends … I mean there was just a lot of people that we met that we knew, and we didn’t know they were up there like that until we went up there. Then we ended up with the camping group and it’s like, ‘Okay, you go there, you get to camp, you get to see the friends that you made from Canada.’ It’s like an annual thing to go up there and touch base with people you’ve made friends with for years and years.”
Stephen, EAA Lifetime 286293, joined the EAA Aeromedical Advisory Council in the 1980s and has been assisting EAA members and pilots, as well as the organization, with medical-related issues ever since. As part of the council, he’s been an active participant in shaping aviation medical policy as well as personally assisting fellow members.
“[The Aeromedical Advisory Council] was initially formed to provide aviation medical advice to Paul Poberezny so he could take informed positions when working with the FAA to help shape regulations,” Stephen explained. “That role has expanded, and because the FAA medical team regularly attends AirVenture, the council members have had the chance to develop mutually productive, personal relationships with them. They trust us, and we are able to provide important input into their policy decisions. The greatly expanded the Special Issuance program, and the development of criteria for AMEs to verify qualifications and issue certificates on the spot for a number of conditions that previously required deferrals, are direct results of ideas and input from our council. Finally, we are available as a resource to EAA members to guide them toward resolution of certification problems that they have had.”
Finally, the Shay family — which includes husband and wife team Bill, EAA 292424, and Margaret, as well as daughters Raquel and Sophia, EAA 1051870 — were honored with a Brown Arch Brick Award for their service as volunteers with EAA’s business development team since 2009. Since the Shays began volunteering, they’ve had the chance to meet a variety of new people each and every year — a key factor in why they love coming back each year.
“[I enjoy] the interaction I have with other people and the ability to show people who have never been to Oshkosh before the experience and show them my passion,” Bill said. “The girls have enjoyed the people they’ve been able to meet through the volunteering, to where they’ve been keeping in touch with people year-round. … They keep connections going for the past 11 years they’ve been volunteering.”