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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedVolunteer Spotlight: Patty and Paige Dorlac
Story and photo by Kristy Hemp

Patty Dorlac (right) and daughter Paige, 17, Vintage Co-Chair for Flightline & Safety EAA 141516, Hometown: Windsor, Colorado.

What do you do? Patty: Train the volunteers to park airplanes and everything else they need to know in the Vintage area. Paige: I assist the co-chairman (a.k.a Mom)

Years as a volunteer? Patty: 23. Paige: 7.

Day job: Patty: Kindergarten Teacher.

Describe your family’s involvement: Patty: Met husband (EAA volunteer photo pilot) through CAP and ROTC. We’ve only missed one AirVenture since we married. Our son Luke volunteered in the Red Barn until last year. This year he’s at the Air Force Academy.

What do you enjoy most? Patty: Training 100-200 people every year and communicating with them during the year as we are getting ready to come back. Paige: It’s so cool to know every year when you come back you’ll have that family of volunteers.

Introduction to aviation: Patty: My uncle who is a Korea and Vietnam vet. He took me flying when he was at the Air Force Academy when I was 8. It was amazing to see the landscape from a bird’s-eye-view.

Aviation background: Patty: I joined CAP in high school. I was always interested in flying and their search and rescue missions. I like working on airplanes as well. We have an N3N and Tundra Cub that our son soloed in.

Building project? Patty: N3N in progress.

If you could fly any airplane it would be: Patty: DC-2. An amazing aircraft to be in and fly. Paige: F-16. My dad was an Air Force pilot.

How has AirVenture (AV) changed over the years? Patty: It’s grown. The amount of volunteers has increased, and the amount of volunteers that come back every year. A lot has been done for people to enjoy the experience more.

AV experience you won’t forget: Patty: The year of Jennys to Jets and the Christen Eagles’ snap rolls on take-off. Paige: The F-22s or when I went up in the photo plane with my dad. It was a little spooky, but I knew my dad knew what he was doing!

Most memorable person you met through AV: Patty: Lifetime Member Don Straughn, who recently passed away. He taught me how to identify airplanes and had the patience of a saint. He brought integrity to everything he did. That’s why we are dedicating our new Ops Center to him.

Favorite time of day at AV: Patty: 8:15 p.m. when there are about 50 volunteers piling into cars to go to dinner and spend time together.

I would love to go to lunch with: Patty: Eddie Rickenbacker–because he lived the era of Jennys to Jets and flew almost everything.

Fun volunteer story: Patty: Every year we have a volunteer party where we host a Vintage Idol and get to see the hidden talents of our volunteers!

The one thing AV goers shouldn’t miss: Patty: The continuous arrival of airplanes into Oshkosh. Special bonus if you can listen to the tower.

AV survival tip: Paige: Bring a good tent. Patty: Drink lots of water. Don’t miss out on volunteering. It’s the greatest lifelong experience you can have.

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