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EAA AirVenture Today is published by the Experimental Aircraft Association for EAA AirVenture from July 27 - August 3. It is distributed free on the convention grounds as well as other locations in Oshkosh and surrounding communities. Stories and photos are copyrighted 2008 by EAA AirVenture Today and EAA. Reproduction by any means is prohibited without written consent.

  

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The official daily newspaper of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh


Volume 9, Number 7 August 2, 2008     

Granting wishes for 15 years
By Kristy Hemp

Make-A-Wish children and their families tour the AirVenture grounds. Photo by Jim Busha

Prayers are being answered for a handful of children who have life-threatening medical conditions. For the fifteenth year in a row at AirVenture, EAA and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin are granting the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions and will provide a fun-filled day for these very special children and their families.

Until six years ago, Make-A-Wish was celebrated on Thursday and sometimes only a parent and the child could come. Now it’s celebrated on Saturday and the whole family can come and enjoy the experience together while keeping the child the main focus, explained Randy Hansen, EAA Make-A-Wish coordinator.

Federal Pavilion staff is the escort of the day with Dave Grantham, U.S. Customs pilot and host. A special tram will take Marcus, Joshua, Haden, and their families around the grounds to many events planned especially for them. The day starts off with a flight in EAA’s Bell 47 helicopter, a tour of the Goodyear Blimp, a flight in the EAA Ford Tri-Motor where they will become Young Eagles, and an ultralight ride.

Lunch is at the EAA Air Academy Lodge where Tom Poberezny will make a special visit to formally celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the EAA/Make-A-Wish Partnership. "EAA is proud that for the past 15 years it has been able to provide some unique experiences for the Make-A-Wish young people and their families," says Tom Poberezny, EAA president and AirVenture chairman. "These experiences have been just as special to all of us who have participated as they have been to the Make-A-Wish families who have been part of it here at Oshkosh."

The day concludes with the afternoon air show. The kids get special seats in the performers’ tent to view the show, and they are able to meet air show performers.

"If we can’t make a kid healthy, we can make them happy," said Jackie Vervoort, Field Office Manager for Make-A-Wish.

Over the years some great memories have been made. One in particular was when the partnership between EAA and Make-A-Wish Wisconsin became international. In 2004, Raviv Yalosky, from Tel Aviv, Israel, became the first international youth to make the air show a dream trip.

The fifteenth anniversary also marks the first visit for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin to AirVenture. Patti Gorsky, president of Make-A-Wish of Wisconsin will be attending.

Holiday Inn Select Appleton provides snacks for the event and all international children stay there as guests during AirVenture.

FUTURE AIRVENTURE DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3; 2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30
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