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Airport Appreciation Days getting off the ground

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Executive Director of the United Way David English gives a $500 check to the Putnam County Airport Appreciation Days Group to fund some of the activities of the event. From left, J.R. Scott, English, Jack Sutton and Ginger Scott.
Airport Appreciation Days at the Putnam County Airport has been scheduled for Sept. 10-11, and the Airport Appreciation Days Group is already preparing to make the 12th year bigger than ever before.

This event also marks the eighth year the event will allow Young Eagles and children aged 8 to 17 to fly around Putnam County, said Jack Sutton, member of the Appreciation Days Group.

"We're hoping someday it will be a county-wide event," Sutton said, adding that the event was created to increase awareness of aviation.

Sutton, along with other members J.R. Scott, Ginger Scott, John Layne and Duane Skoog, have worked to make this the largest appreciation days yet.

As well as the airplane rides, the United Way and its 15 partner agencies will attend the event to volunteer with organizing it and by holding their own booths. The Boy Scouts will also send 100 members to the event to earn up to four merit badges for aviation and other activities. There will also be a "cruise-in" for antique and vintage automobiles on Sept. 10 and one for motorcycles on Sept. 11. The Indiana National Guard will sponsor a climbing wall at the event, and there will be several activities for children, including a bounce house.

The Dixie Chopper Business Center will also host the second year of the USO-style radio shows. The show will feature local talent and will be performed in front of a live audience. The shows are based on old USO radio shows during World War II. With enough support, the airport will be able to present a barnstormer-style flying demonstration.

Sutton and Skoog said they hope they can bring back the excitement around aviation that hasn't been seen since the end of World War II.

"Everyone was aware of aviation," Sutton said of the war period. "Now...They take it for granted. They don't think about it."

Skoog remembered how excited he was upon seeing airplanes at the airport and the desire he had to fly in one. He hopes to help make those dreams come true for kids and hopefully help create a future pilot.

"If we fly one Young Eagle and everyone's happy, it was a success," Skoog said.

For more information about the event and to donate, purchase tickets for the radio play, or to become a sponsor, called Ginger Scott at 720-2236. The group is accepting donations of anything from money to bottled water.

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This is such a great community event. My family looks forward to it each year. Thanks to all involved for organizing/hosting the event. See you in September.

-- Posted by purduegrad on Thu, Jul 7, 2011, at 9:25 AM

Really? The United Way is giving $500. for the "Rich folks playground appreciation days group"? Somehow I would think that there would be community needs that are more important than that. I hope that Mr English and the United Way aren't expecting any future donations from me.....

-- Posted by mickhamblen on Fri, Jul 8, 2011, at 3:15 PM

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