Home' Heliweb Magazine : Heliweb Magazine February 2016 Contents 20 heliweb magazine
Heli-Expo is Go!
With Heli-Expo only a month away,
everyone seems to be in home
stretch mode for the show— fussing
over last minute details like printing
flyers, finalizing booth needs,
and all of the other associated
tasks that come with attending
HAI’s Heli-Expo show every year.
The Whirly-Girls are no different.
Over the past several months, you
have heard me talk more and more
about our inaugural event called
“Give it a Whirl.” Well after this issue,
I promise you, dear reader, this will
be the last you hear about it until next year,
as we are on the home stretch. I do, however,
want to give you a look into the who, what,
where, when, and how of the Give it a Whirl
event we will be hosting before the Expo.
For something that started as an
idea thrown around once at a board
meeting, the Give it a Whirl event has
somewhat taken on a life of its own.
From the first mention of it to sponsors, once
it was explained to them what the event was
trying to achieve —namely doing for kids with
helicopters what the EAA young eagles has
done for fixed wing aviation and youth— the
response has been nothing short of amazing.
In a few short months, we went from an
idea, to the daunting task of pulling this
event together and making it into what
we all envisioned it will be for the kids in
attendance. With our plan in place, we set
about finding a location, which we found
in Bowman field. The folks at Bowman were
kind enough to donate the space needed to
house all of the kids for the various activities
planned, providing a hangar for our event.
In the hangar, we will have so many activities
planned that we hope parents who bring
kids along to the event will appreciate
when their children return home exhausted
from the fun-filled day we have planned.
The outpouring of support from vendors,
sponsors, pilots, and other volunteers has
been phenomenal. Like we had hoped,
once the event was announced, the passion
of this industry started to shine through
and the phone calls and emails started.
Offers of everything from giveaways
to fuel sponsorship for rides from Bell,
who have been simply amazing, along
with all of our other sponsors involved
in providing key parts of the event.
The most important part of our event is,
of course, helicopters! With our venue
secured at Bowman field, we were also
able to secure several helicopters for static
display from several different operators,
giving us the ability to showcase not only
the operator, but ignite an early passion
for aviation for the youth in attendance.
For many of us in this industry, there is a
moment we can look back on as a child
and remember our introductionto the world
of aviation— that introductory moment that
later became a burning obsession for many
of us that now work and fly in the industry.
We have also learned a great deal from
putting this day together, as I’m sure many
people do the first time that they decide
to put on a large scale event. From an
organizational perspective, as someone
who had to learn a lot of things the hard
way as a first timer, it is hard work! That
said, once we get underway at Bowman
field on the day of the event and we
see the smiles put on kids faces and the
youthful exuberant joy that experiencing
new things—like a helicopter— bring,
I am sure it will ave been worth every
single bit of time and effort invested.
As one of the organizers of this event, and a
member of a team of amazing people in the
Whirly-Girls organization, I want to close
out this month by expressing my gratitude.
Thank you to the army of people who have
offered to help in many different ways,
thank you to our sponsors and vendors
that are donating goods and services to
make this day special, and thank you to
everyone in the industry that supports
giving children the chance to experience
helicopter aviation, many of them for the
first time. Helicopter pilots are a group
of some of the most amazing, generous,
and patient people (shout out to you CFIs)
around. We look forward to seeing those
of you coming to the event, and if you can’t
make it, we hope to see you on the floor of
Heli-Expo and meeting some new friends.
The Whirly-Girls are a non-profit 501(c)
who provide scholarships,
mentoring, and other programs to aid women in
finding success in the helicopter aviation world.
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