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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedVolunteer Spotlight on the EAA Wearhouse
 
  

Volunteers in the EAA Wearhouse are, from left, E.J. White, CeCe Donaldson, and Joanie Moder.

Visitors to AirVenture can see volunteers do every imaginable job - from directing traffic and driving trams to giving directions and setting up fencing. But for every volunteer that you see on the grounds, there are more dedicated folks working behind the scenes. For the men and women working at the Wearhouse, the majority of their work comes before AirVenture starts. They're in charge of tagging every piece of merchandise sold by EAA throughout the grounds and boxing it for distribution. On July 7, they were working on sorting shirts destined for the Warbirds area.

The women working at the Wearhouse range in experience from three years to more than 20, but like so many other volunteers, they all look forward to seeing the friends they make performing their demanding but enjoyable tasks.

E.J. White, of Collinsville, Oklahoma, attended her first fly in with her husband, Roger (see previous story) in 1964. E.J. says it was an "aviation initiation for a new bride" and she and her husband have been coming to EAA conventions ever since. She has been volunteering at Oshkosh for more than 20 years, and working in the warehouse is but one of a string of jobs she has performed over the years.

Next, there is Joanie Moder, described by the other volunteers as the head of the outfit. She says that she started volunteering more than 12 years ago after her husband, Don, drove down on the weekends from Appleton to volunteer. "It sounded like fun," she said, "but I was apprehensive at first. Then I started talking to Dorothy Hill, and she told me 'be here tomorrow morning at 8'." That was the kick start she needed, and now, more than a decade later, she and her husband stay in Oshkosh from April to September every year to take part in the convention preparations.

CeCe Donaldson is the new "kid" on the block. Even though she's volunteered here the past three years, this is the first time CeCe has come before the show. Originally from New York, she now calls America her home as she and her husband travel the country in their RV throughout the year. "I can't believe the difference," she said. "It's fun to see everything building up." Last year, she helped out in the Workshops area, supervising visitors learning to build wooden aircraft wings. Like many of the other women volunteering at the Wearhouse, CeCe followed her husband into aviation, but stayed because of the people she's met and formed lifelong friendships with. And all of them have found their own identity in the world of aviation.

AirVenture is always in need of volunteers, to get more information on how you can help, visit www.airventure.org/volunteers.

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