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  #1  
Old 05-21-2012, 11:15 AM
ppilotmike's Avatar
ppilotmike ppilotmike is offline
 
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Location: Denver, CO
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Default VAF "Make A Wish" update

Here's an update on the VAF Make A Wish mission to get Alex Cuellar and his father to Oshkosh for Airventure this year. As many of you know from the previous thread, http://www.vansairforce.com/communit...ad.php?t=85196 Alex has an unknown type of cancerous brain tumor, that's inoperable. Prior to being diagnosed, he was training for his PPL with aspirations of being a commercial pilot. Now he and his family are fighting the ailment as best as they can, while trying to live life to the fullest. After chemo and other treatments, that were apparently unsuccessful, the tumor inexplicably stopped growing on its own. They are monitoring it with MRIs, and hoping that Alex can gain strength enough to fight with immunotherapy if needed.

So here's the update:

Mission Goals:

1) Show Alex my plane project and give him a HB workshop experience - COMPLETE (Me, my wife, Michelle-Alex's mom)
2) Get Alex some stick time in a local RV - COMPLETE (EAA Chapter 301, Young Eagles & Gary Zilik RV-6)
3) Get Alex's mom a ride in an RV so she feels secure with him flying to OSH in one. - COMPLETE (Jim Berry RV-10)
4) Arrange for RT transportation to and from OSH - COMPLETE (Dwight Drefs RV-10) Arrive: Sunday, July 22nd - Depart: Sunday, July 29th
5) Arrange for lodging for Alex and his Dad. - AWAITING CONFIRMATION (Paul Merems - Christian School in Osh)
6) Arrange for daily/weekly tickets to AV for Alex and Dad. - STILL NEED (EAA?)
7) Aquire ground transportation for Alex and Dad while at OSH - STILL NEED (EAA?)
8) Aquire tickets to Van's Banquet for Alex and Dad - STILL NEED (Van's?)
9) Post after OSH writeup with pictures - STILL NEED (Me)

Since this has been a "Vans Community" effort from the very beginning. I think it would be very cool to have him and his dad at the Vans Banquet as an example of the strength of our brotherhood, and a nod to Doug Reeves and Vans Aircraft, for what they have created. A big thanks, from me personally, to those who have helped thus far.
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Mike Rettig
EAA Chapter 301 www.eaa301.org
VAF Dues Current
RV-10 - Working on engine / prop installation
http://www.mykitlog.com/users/index....ig&project=803
F-14 (Pedal Plane - Daughter's Project) "Flying"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKCyX2FXrlw

Last edited by ppilotmike : 05-21-2012 at 11:23 AM. Reason: Added last name
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  #2  
Old 05-21-2012, 12:07 PM
rockwoodrv9 rockwoodrv9 is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Meridian ID, Aspen CO, Okemos MI
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Default thanks Mike and Dwight

Mike,
All good news. Nice job putting this together. Dwight - thanks for the offer to fly Alex and his Father to OSH.
I was talking with a friend and he was telling me how much walking there is at the show. When you say ground transportation needed, is that what you are talking about? Not having been there, is a little scooter or golf cart something to consider? I don't even know if they are allowed or available, but if is worth looking into. I believe ADA rules would allow a scooter for sure.

If anyone knows about the availability of scooters, that would be good info to have. I will research and see what I can come up with.

As for costs, I am willing to help out. I can't imagine EAA not coming up with a couple tickets and the same for Vans.

It looks like you are pulling this off with style! Keep us up to date, thanks
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  #3  
Old 05-21-2012, 02:57 PM
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ppilotmike ppilotmike is offline
 
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockwoodrv9 View Post
Mike,
When you say ground transportation needed, is that what you are talking about? Not having been there, is a little scooter or golf cart something to consider? I don't even know if they are allowed or available, but if is worth looking into. I believe ADA rules would allow a scooter for sure.
Rocky,

I think scooters are acceptable. Alex can walk, but not for extended periods of time. As we all know the heat doesn't help either. Worst case, there are trams and things to take him around, but it sure would be nice to have access to a scooter or golf-cart. Even at the tram stops, there's never a place to sit down. Hopefully Chad (EAA) will chime in here...

Mike
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Mike Rettig
EAA Chapter 301 www.eaa301.org
VAF Dues Current
RV-10 - Working on engine / prop installation
http://www.mykitlog.com/users/index....ig&project=803
F-14 (Pedal Plane - Daughter's Project) "Flying"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKCyX2FXrlw
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  #4  
Old 05-21-2012, 03:37 PM
N15JB N15JB is offline
 
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Location: Denver
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Default

Mike,

If EAA does not kick in for tickets for Alex and his dad, I will pick up the tab for that.

Jim Berry
RV-10
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  #5  
Old 05-21-2012, 03:38 PM
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lockeed lockeed is offline
 
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Location: Gaspe, Qc
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Default

1) Open a paypal account so we can all make donations securely, as small as they might be, they're all gona help.

2) Get the big guys involved. Lycoming, Dynon, Van's, EAA, Flying magazine, Kitplanes magazine, Lightspeed, Bose, etc... Prepare a short letter, and send to all. Again, even if it's just a 100$ contribution, it will help. Make sure the story is heard and all contributors are named and thanked at the Van's Banquet.

I don't see why everybody wouldn't get on board.
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  #6  
Old 05-23-2012, 01:31 PM
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ppilotmike ppilotmike is offline
 
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by lockeed View Post
1) Open a paypal account so we can all make donations securely, as small as they might be, they're all gona help.

2) Get the big guys involved. Lycoming, Dynon, Van's, EAA, Flying magazine, Kitplanes magazine, Lightspeed, Bose, etc... Prepare a short letter, and send to all. Again, even if it's just a 100$ contribution, it will help. Make sure the story is heard and all contributors are named and thanked at the Van's Banquet.

I don't see why everybody wouldn't get on board.
Lockeed,

I agree that the Paypal account would have been convenient for receiving donations. However, I have been trying to get people involved in each stage of the mission, using their RV, or their influence, rather than creating a fund with which to simply purchase commercial tickets and/or lodging. The reason for it was to 1) keep the money to a minimum, 2) allow people to contribute in a personal way to Alex, and 3) to avoid setting precedent for a possible flood of similar solicitations on the VAF site (i.e. "please help! Send money to xxxxx"). While Paypal's fine for selling Vans stuff in the classifieds, I don't think it would be fair for Doug to have to try and moderate something like that. Sorry for the inconvenience in this particular case. If you really want to send money, send me a PM and we'll work it out.
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Mike Rettig
EAA Chapter 301 www.eaa301.org
VAF Dues Current
RV-10 - Working on engine / prop installation
http://www.mykitlog.com/users/index....ig&project=803
F-14 (Pedal Plane - Daughter's Project) "Flying"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKCyX2FXrlw
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  #7  
Old 05-23-2012, 02:19 PM
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cjensen cjensen is offline
 
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Location: Milwaukee, WI area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ppilotmike View Post
6) Arrange for daily/weekly tickets to AV for Alex and Dad. - STILL NEED (EAA?)
7) Aquire ground transportation for Alex and Dad while at OSH - STILL NEED (EAA?)
I'm hoping to come up with a solution after a meeting tomorrow for this...really hoping I can get the connection made to take care of it.
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  #8  
Old 05-23-2012, 02:19 PM
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ppilotmike ppilotmike is offline
 
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Default UPDATE!

Great News! Weekly Airventure passes for Alex and Dad have been secured. Big thanks to Gary Menzimer at Ray Allen Company. Also, Joe Blank at Vans Aircraft has assured me that Alex and his dad will have a spot at this year's Banquet. The only thing left to figure out is ground transportation at Oshkosh to help with all the walking (if scooters are even allowed on the grounds - which I hope they are). I received a PM from Chad Jensen, that he's working on that. Thanks to everyone who helped out. There's still a few little things to cinch up before the show, but it appears this mission is going to be a success!
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Mike Rettig
EAA Chapter 301 www.eaa301.org
VAF Dues Current
RV-10 - Working on engine / prop installation
http://www.mykitlog.com/users/index....ig&project=803
F-14 (Pedal Plane - Daughter's Project) "Flying"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKCyX2FXrlw
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  #9  
Old 05-23-2012, 02:20 PM
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cjensen cjensen is offline
 
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Great news Mike! I'll work on the other...
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chad.jensen@astronics.com
920-216-3699
RV-7, 5 yr build, flew it 68 hours, sold it, miss it.
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  #10  
Old 05-23-2012, 04:31 PM
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Flyin'Bryan Flyin'Bryan is offline
 
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Default Ground transport info from Airventure website

Quote:
Originally Posted by ppilotmike View Post
Great News! Weekly Airventure passes for Alex and Dad have been secured. Big thanks to Gary Menzimer at Ray Allen Company. Also, Joe Blank at Vans Aircraft has assured me that Alex and his dad will have a spot at this year's Banquet. The only thing left to figure out is ground transportation at Oshkosh to help with all the walking (if scooters are even allowed on the grounds - which I hope they are). I received a PM from Chad Jensen, that he's working on that. Thanks to everyone who helped out. There's still a few little things to cinch up before the show, but it appears this mission is going to be a success!

Mike, that is awesome news. I did not see anything posted here yet about Airventure handicap policies with respect to gound transportation while on the grounds, so here is the link that basically confirms that personal transport scooters are accepted on the grounds, and they are available for daily rent. Now if we can get the scooter company to take care of him during his visit....

Perhaps that is the "connection" that Chad is pursuing.

http://www.airventure.org/planning/services.html
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