Thursday, May 31, 2012

Must read feedback from GWW AID 2012 - pt 2

I thanked a couple of people in Part 1 for their assistance before, during and after Aviation Inspiration Day, but it doesn't even come close to all of the people who joined in the effort to make AID a success. For example, Keith Jones, on our Board of Directors, and his friends, Victoria Neuville, U.S. Team Leader for Women of Aviation Week, and Rebecca Pickrell all helped to send out a massive number of emails to different organizations in the Twin Cities area to try to raise awareness and attendance. As usual, my dad also helped to let people know about the event and was able to bring in the not-so-local Minnesota Soaring Club on board. Phil brought his glider to the S. St. Paul Airport and in between storms set it up so people could take a look - it was a real hit!

The weather limited quite a few of our activities, not the least of which was the flying. We had a MN State Patrol Helicopter scheduled to arrive but Level 5 thunderstorms put the kibosh on that. The Commemorative Air Force Museum was planning on launching their North American B-25 "Miss Mitchell" ... but nope. At least the kids could still climb in and around their vintage aircraft and vehicles. That's a really special thing about the CAF - MN Wing museum.

The weather also hampered the events of EAA Chapter 1229 who volunteered to give Young Eagle flights to the attendees. And when I say volunteered, Mike and Joel totally gave, without any reimbursement, of their time, energy, airplanes and fuel to give the 40 some kids a short flight around the local area. Unfortunately, their generosity was not returned by Mother Nature - only a few kids were flown before she hurled hail down on their airplanes. They will now have to figure out how to follow through on all of those "rainchecks!"

We also were the recipients of some donations from several companies, especially Wipaire, Inc., who provided a free lunch to all of the attendees. We handed out bags, donated by Wings Financial, filled with goodies from Wings, Southwest Airlines, and Minnesota Department of Transportation, Aeronautics and Aviation division.

There are so many more people to thank, and I'll get them in subsequent entries.

So I wanted to end this blog entry with an email we got the morning after AID:

Hey Ladies, and all who helped to make Aviation Inspiration Day happen-

Thank you so much for the opportunity to meet all of you, and learn a bit about your passion for aviation. From the sparkle in your eyes, when speaking about your careers and hobbies, it's clear you all are doing what you love. I'm not sure who was more excited about the day, me, or the kids? I LOVED LOVED LOVED the message you were sending to the girls, about taking a challenge, doing something hard, and enjoying the benefits of your efforts. Doing something not because everyone else is doing it, but doing it because it's a unique opportunity to prove to yourself that you can do it, even if few others are, and when you try something new, you just might find your own sparkle.

I had brought my niece C, my daughter M and her twin brother B to the aviation day for two reasons. One, I wanted to show M - SHE CAN DO IT! M was saying she didn't want to fly in the plane before we got there, she just wanted to sit in one. Then she wouldn't even get in the jeep to go for a ride, "it didn't look safe". She also said that; "during the presentation, Kare 11 was there, so she put her hood up"...UUUUGH! I'm trying my best, to work on new approaches, to get M to be more confident in herself and try new things. She's struggling in school and I just can't seem to find enough opportunities to show her that YES..SHE CAN DO IT! Today's aviation inspiration day was the perfect opportunity to actually SHOW her, she can do it. The other reason I wanted to bring all of the kids to your aviation day; is because even at 9 years old, I've already seen so many more opportunities for M's twin brother B, than I do for her. B is doing very well in school, things seem to come very easy for him. He's more outgoing and enjoys trying new things. It was great for him to see that sometimes, his sister just needs a little more time and opportunity and she can do it just as well as he can!

We've been thinking of the pilots this evening; after all the hard work from the pilots and everyone else involved with todays Aviation Inspiration day, we are hoping everyone was able to go home and relax, and the planes were safe and sound at home as well. We saw the concern on the pilots faces, when the hail came down. We are hoping the planes remained unharmed.

We are looking forward to future events with Girls with wings, and other inspirational aviation activity days. I know the girls will be giving me frequent reminders to be checking my e-mail, to find out when they will actually get to ride in one of the planes.

Thank you all for the time and effort you put into our girls!
I love this email - it encapsulates what we're all about!

I just sent out a survey to all of the attendees from whom I received email addresses. I hope to have more feedback to show to you soon...

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