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  #1  
Old 07-31-2012, 11:05 PM
ppilotmike's Avatar
ppilotmike ppilotmike is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 2,013
Default VAF "Make a Wish" - Alex's Trip to OSH 2012

VAF community,
I am happy to report that the VAF "Make a Wish" mission was a complete success! Thanks to all of you, Alex Cuellar and his dad, Alejandro, had what I think many would consider the "dream trip" to Airventure this year. The following is my writeup of their trip, a few of my favorite pics and the link to their picasa web album for more pics. On behalf of Alex and his family, thank you all for your generosity, encouragement and support for this young man. For those who aren't familiar with Alex's story, see these links:
http://www.vansairforce.com/communit...ad.php?t=85196
http://www.vansairforce.com/communit...ad.php?t=86537
http://www.vansairforce.com/communit...ad.php?t=87052

Here's a link to ALL their pictures:

https://plus.google.com/photos/11378...CNH97Nju5O7KDg

Alex and Alejandro arrived "in style" at Airventure, flying in, courtesy of Dwight Drefs and his beautiful RV-10 on Saturday, before the show. Since Alex has a hard time walking for too long, they were given a golf cart to use during the week (thanks EAA and Homebuilt HQ). They checked in at the Christian School in Oshkosh, which would be their temporary home during the show.


Happy to be in Oshkosh (and inside with air conditioning).

After getting settled in, they met up with Paul Merems (fund raiser extraordinaire) to plan for the show and arrange to pick up their weekly passes (Thanks Ray Allen Company).



Once the show started, Alex and his dad hit the grounds as "first timers." On Monday, around noon, they got interviewed live on EAA Radio with Bob Collins, in the sound booth overlooking the runway.


"Look at how MANY of them there are!"


Alex and me, near the Hombuilt Hangars, thinking about which classes to attend..

On Tuesday evening, they attended the Vans Aircraft Banquet, where they were recognized and received a standing ovation from the crowd for their bravery. As the show continued, Alex and Alejandro were really able to see most of the grounds at Airventure, thanks to the cart, including the EAA Museum, Camp Scholler, the Sea Base and the Pioneer Airport. They even took a ride in the Ford Tri-Motor.


Thumbs up, way up!


They even found time to relax by the pond near the Nature Pavillion and Compass Hill.



By far, the highlight of the trip was getting a ride in the only flying B-29 Superfortress in the world, FIFI. (Big thanks to the people at the CAF!).



Also a big thank you to Dwight Drefs for providing their transportation from Colorado to OSH and back in his new RV-10!


Preparing to depart Airventure 2012.

To see more pictures, check out this link to their web album:
https://plus.google.com/photos/11378...CNH97Nju5O7KDg

Thanks again and god bless to all who helped this kid's dream come true.
__________________
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 : 08-02-2012 at 09:33 AM. Reason: Trying to fix embedded picture files..
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  #2  
Old 07-31-2012, 11:07 PM
ppilotmike's Avatar
ppilotmike ppilotmike is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 2,013
Default help with pics please

Moderator,

Could you please try to get the embedded images to work properly? For some reason, they didn't show up in the writeup. Thanks. [ed. Mike, you have the photo album set to 'Limited' access....try setting it to 'Public'. Wonderful story!!! dr]
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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 DeltaRomeo : 08-01-2012 at 06:08 AM.
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  #3  
Old 07-31-2012, 11:23 PM
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DakotaHawk DakotaHawk is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 801
Thumbs up

My son and I recognized Alex and his father on monday morning (from pictures) at Aces Cafe. We introduced ourselves and they joined us for breakfast. We talked about their plans for the week. They sure seemed excited about all the activities ahead!

We ran into each other a couple times during the next few days, and they appeared to be having a great time.

It seems that there was a lot of "behind the scenes" activities to make this such a resounding success. I've seen many of the corporate sponsers and donors recognized, but I'd like to recognize all of the individuals who donated "enough to pay for a tank of gas" to the cause. I'm proud to associate with all of you!
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Scott "Grumpy" Stewart
RV-7 N957RV (First Flight on Dec 18, 2009)
RV-14 N144P (First Flight on Apr 17, 2021)

Arlington, WA
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  #4  
Old 08-01-2012, 01:09 AM
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Casey Stewart Casey Stewart is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 174
Default

Meeting Alex was truly an inspiration. His passion for aviation and joy for life poured out and brought a smile to the face of everyone he met. I wish I could have spent more time with him, but anyone who was able to meet will have that feeling too.

To everyone who contributed in any way: Thank You for helping make his wishes come true.

Alex, You are an amazing young man and I am honored to have met you.

All the best,
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Casey D. Stewart
RV-7 N957RV (right seat if I am lucky)
C-150 N4265C for the PPL
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  #5  
Old 08-01-2012, 01:35 AM
rjtjrt rjtjrt is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 796
Default

Mike
Thanks for posting this.
it is very pleasing to hear it was all a success.
Also, appreciation to you for all your efforts. We overseas folk can only help financially, but you and the others did all the work.

John
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  #6  
Old 08-01-2012, 07:35 AM
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zilik zilik is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Pine Junction, CO
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I spoke with Alex at Van's Banquet and he and his father were having a wonderful time which his pictures prove.

A big thanks has to go to Mike Rettig for all his time spent in organizing Alex's adventure.

A big thanks to all of those who donated "Tanks of Gas", big or little. You all bring a tear to my eye. What a wonderful group of people.
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Gary "Seismo" Zilik
Pine Junction, Colorado
RV-6A N99PZ S/N 22993 SOLD
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  #7  
Old 08-01-2012, 10:07 AM
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ppilotmike ppilotmike is offline
 
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Location: Denver, CO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zilik View Post
I spoke with Alex at Van's Banquet and he and his father were having a wonderful time which his pictures prove.

A big thanks has to go to Mike Rettig for all his time spent in organizing Alex's adventure.

A big thanks to all of those who donated "Tanks of Gas", big or little. You all bring a tear to my eye. What a wonderful group of people.
Gary,

No thanks are necessary. It was my pleasure to "pay it forward" and I feel that I was well rewarded by seeing it through to the end. We received support from several aviation businesses and non-profits, as well as EAA and the CAF. However, none of it would have been possible without the VAF brethren. Doug Reeves has truly created something wonderful here on the web and we should remember his contributions to this and many other worthy causes, including helping us all to help each other.
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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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  #8  
Old 08-01-2012, 11:22 AM
rockwoodrv9 rockwoodrv9 is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Meridian ID, Aspen CO, Okemos MI
Posts: 2,859
Default Looks like a great trip

Mike,
It looks like it was a great trip for Alex and his father. He is quite a kid. What an experience for them and all involved. What a success - to truly make a difference in their life is a great thing. So many people not mentioned stepped up to the plate to make this happen - most who had never met Alex.

A couple I want to mention are Mike Dooley and Chad Jensen. Mike has been a volunteer at AV for years and part of Homebuilt HQ. With Chad, Mike was able to secure the golf cart allowing Alex and his father to see all of AV. That made the difference. Thanks to Homebuilt HQ and Mike for that. Mike also offered all the camping equipment they would need to camp on site and the use of his jeep if they needed to get into town. Thanks to Paul Merems, they were able to stay in style at the Christian School. There were offers of motor homes and I had one man - who did not want to be mentioned offer to bring a scooter for Alex and allow them to stay at his house. My partner also offered his Citation as a back up to Dwight's fantastic 10 flight so they could arrive in true RV style. Mike was also behind getting Alex and his father on the Tri-Motor Flight. That must have been an amazing flight for them.

To you Mike, great job all around. I know you spend many hours working out all the details. Did you have and idea what you got yourself involved in when you had Alex over to look at the -10 you are building? Wow! Most would have thought they had done their "duty" just showing the plane and felt good about that. After his flight with Gary at Front Range Airport Young Eagles, there was no way he wasn't going to AV. I know we talked about getting Make a Wish involved. This was way better - making it happen within our group. Thanks for all the work you did and letting us be involved.
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Williamston MI
O-320 D2A
Flying N376E

Last edited by rockwoodrv9 : 08-01-2012 at 11:26 AM.
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  #9  
Old 08-01-2012, 04:31 PM
harleyl harleyl is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Lower Alabama
Posts: 44
Unhappy No joy on the pictures

Maybe it's just me but I can't get any of the pictures to show...
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  #10  
Old 08-01-2012, 04:59 PM
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ppilotmike ppilotmike is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Denver, CO
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Default Link Only

Quote:
Originally Posted by harleyl View Post
Maybe it's just me but I can't get any of the pictures to show...
Harley,

Unfortunately, the individual pics that I wanted to "highlight" didn't show up in my posting because of the properties settings on the album. The album link is the best way to look at the pictures. https://plus.google.com/photos/11378...CNH97Nju5O7KDg

I have asked Alejandro to change the album properties so everyone can view them. Hopefully they will show up for you. They really had a great time.
__________________
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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