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Admission Gate Volunteer Receives Kimberly Award

November 12, 2015 - It’s not known how many thousands of AirVenture attendees Mary Krapfl has greeted over 25 years. If you entered the grounds through the Main Gate Admission area over the past quarter-century, there’s a good chance you said hi to Mary.

Last Thursday at the EAA Halls of Fame induction dinner, Krapfl was recognized for her volunteer work with the annual Henry Kimberly Spirit of Leadership Award. That award was created more than a decade ago to honor an Oshkosh-area volunteer for dedicated service to EAA. It is named for the award’s founder, the late Henry Kimberly, a longtime Oshkosh civic leader who was instrumental in building community support for EAA when the fly-in arrived in Oshkosh in 1970 and later in the move of EAA headquarters to Oshkosh.

Krapfl has volunteered every year at AirVenture Oshkosh since 1985. She tried a little bit of everything, including aircraft parking and guarding the Voyager aircraft, until she found her home at Main Gate Admissions North. She worked there for a total of 25 fly-ins, 17 of them as the volunteer chair.

In Krapfl’s position she handled everything from operational planning before AirVenture, to scheduling volunteers, and even cooking a hot lunch for her volunteers each day during the event. Her hard work and leadership helped guide her volunteers from the use of manual cash registers to running the current AirVenture software, one of her biggest challenges. But whatever tasks needed to be done, large or small, Krapfl tackled them with enthusiasm and grace.

After 30 years of volunteering, she is passing the reins of Main Gate Admissions North and retiring. Krapfl and her extended family live in Lomira, Wisconsin, about 30 minutes south of Oshkosh. What will she do now that she’s retired from her chairmanship?

 “There are many things I’ve wanted to do, like spend more time with family and grandchildren and travel,” Krapfl said. “I have a new man in my life (Eugene Hoffmann), and we will be taking trips on his boat and in his Mustang. Life is good.” In fact, life is so good that Mary and Eugene tied the knot on November 7! (A pretty good week, eh?)

Congratulations and thanks to Mary for all her dedicated service and our best wishes go with her in retirement.

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