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Young Eagles Volunteers Recognition at Chapter 27, Meriden, Connecticut
By Robert Spaulding, Former President, Chapter 27
February 2016 - It has become a standard practice for the Chapter 27’s president to present the annual “President’s Award” to the member who has shown outstanding support for the organization.
Here’s a bit of background: Chapter 27 decided to get involved with the new (1992) Young Eagles program in late 1994. To that end, Jim Simmons, then our chapter president, asked Fran Uliano if he would do the job. Fran of course said yes, and that was the beginning of having a Young Eagles coordinator in our chapter. Our first Young Eagles rally was in the spring of 1995. It was a resounding success and, as they say, the rest is history.
Fran, with his wife Barbara steadfastly helping, has been our Young Eagles coordinator since—the only one! They are coordinators extraordinaire. Technically, Barbara is not an official coordinator, but she plays a critical part in making our rallies happen without a hitch. Therefore, we felt a special send-off was in order. This year, we made that presentation to Fran (along with a second award for a different chapter member), with a beautiful plaque to commemorate the occasion.
In addition, our chapter has a very good relationship with our home airport, Meriden-Markham Airport (MMK), and we have become close friends with members of the city council, city procurement folks who handle the necessary details of keeping the airport operating, and the airport manager. We thought it only fitting that the City of Meriden had the opportunity to honor Fran, so we cooked up a mayoral proclamation. It was presented to Fran by a member of the city council.
Lastly, we carried through on our “pledge” idea—we ended up calling it “16 in ‘16.” This certificate was presented to Fran by our incoming Young Eagles coordinator, Brian Rechtiene, thereby completing the acknowledgement of Fran and Barbara’s outstanding record by the new coordinator and a reaffirmation by the chapter pilots to continue with greater Young Eagles’ goals in mind.
It is truly a richly deserved recognition, as this couple has been nothing short of a dynamic duo when it comes to making our Young Eagles program go!