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Sun ’n Fun Volunteers
By Dennis Hasha, EAA 227907, Volunteer Advisory Committee, Volunteer Chair of Homebuilt Headquarters, Sun ’n Fun Volunteer
May 2015 - Sun ’n Fun 2015 was another great year for EAA volunteers. It started the week before opening day when Steve Taylor (EAA Maintenance and Facilities Director) arrived to renovate EAA's Sun ’n Fun Headquarters building. Prior to coming to Lakeland, Steve contacted Donna Sisk (who heads up a group of volunteers at Oshkosh for Steve). Donna in turn contacted some of her volunteers who live in Alabama, Florida, Ohio, South Dakota, and other locales to be there to help. What they accomplished was amazing. First they leveled the building (if you sit in a roller chair you no longer slide from the outside walls to an inside wall), painted the building, repaired and painted the porches, capped the porch rails with an aluminum cap, installed several exterior electrical outlets for EAA members use, and more. The building looks great.
Then the regular volunteers started to arrive. Those who volunteer each year at the front gate tent, the Welcome Center, the Flightline Oasis, and the Headquarters building returned. All these volunteer are very visible and a great asset to EAA.
This year Charlie Becker, EAA’s director of chapters and communities, put out a request for volunteers with homebuilding experience to talk about building airplanes. These volunteers would show visitors how to insert and remove clecoes, read blueprints, and answer questions on how to get started building their own airplane. As a great backdrop and example of what can be accomplished, EAA’s "One Week Wonder" was on display at the Welcome Center along with some fuselage parts.
This was a great example of the EAA spirit and volunteering. Big thanks to these new volunteers along with the regulars.
As volunteers we each have found an area we enjoy and look forward to every year. The friendships that have been built over the years among the volunteers is the greatest reward we receive. We all have a love for EAA, airplanes, and our EAA friends. It just does not get any better than sunshine, airplanes, and friends.
As usual, the EAA staff did a great job in making us feel welcome and needed. The Sun ’n Fun Fly-in allows us to get to know a lot of the staff members who we normally would never have the time or opportunity to meet. Now at AirVenture we see many of the staff and greet them as good friends.
All in all, it was another amazing week at Sun ’n Fun volunteering for EAA. Even as I am writing this, I am excited that it is less than three months to AirVenture. After AirVenture I will start anticipating Sun ’n Fun again. It’s another opportunity to make new friends and renew the friendships I have made over the years.