Chapter Half-Year Recap – Highlights of the first half of the year:
Chapter Members – it’s been a challenging period for the Chapter as we emerged from the restrictions and complications of COVID-19, with it’s impact on our events, Young Eagles flights, Scholarship program, meetings & gatherings, and Chapter funding levels (with zero fund-raising Breakfasts possible). But we emerged strong, up to the challenge and ready for the new year of activities. And you – the membership – responded, as you can see from the hugely impressive list of accomplishments of just the past six months the Board and Officers have noted below.
Congratulations, and we all look forward to the next six months of increased activities, events and engagement:
~ Chapter treasury numbers have been restored to planned levels with income from the combination of membership renewals, Pancake Breakfast fund-raising and donations. Currently at $7,746 levels, we are (as of July) ahead of budget. We have no major purchases planned and continue to closely manage costs through detailed treasury reporting to the Board and tight approval processes.
~ New Treasurer – Brad Carnegie joined the Board as Treasurer in June, and most welcome!
~ We held six Membership Meetings the Chapter facility, several in the open hangar (for COVID-19 precaution reasons), and later in the Chapter Meeting Room.
~ The Chapter Board met on seven occasions to ensure the Chapter continues its forward momentum and to address the challenges of funding and restarting events and activities.
~ We held three Pancake Breakfast fund-raisers, with a new volunteer team, led by Chuck Shipman. We had to replace all existing food items and refresh our facility and equipment, ready for service. The three events held so far brought in $2,674 for Chapter funds but, equally importantly, we reconnected with our loyal local and fly-in breakfast fans and had a lot of fun doing so. Feedback was very positive, but we continue to refine our processes.
~ We met with the Chester County Health Dept CCHD in July to verify our Pancake Breakfast processes, and who confirmed that we meet or exceed all guidelines and requirements in our food services operation. Indeed, we earned praise for our accomplishments and practices which, we both acknowledged, are achieved by non-professional, volunteer-based team, in a not-for-profit organization, for a critical fund-raiser activity, with a low-cost, basic breakfast. We agreed several points of emphasis and focus going forward that will ensure we continue to meet and exceed required standards.
Confident of the standards we achieve, we invited the Chester County Health Department representative to join us at our September Pancake Breakfast and to provide real-time expertise and commentary on our service. She readily agreed and we look forward to benefitting from her observations and enjoying a hearty breakfast with us!
~ We flew Young Eagles for the first time in two years, giving 28 kids a great flight experience and lots of memories, despite TFR and weather constraints. Again, feedback was very positive and we continue to get much demand for more flights. We’ll be asking for more member pilot engagement as we go forward to meet the demand.
~ Despite TFR’s and weather constraints we managed to hold four Chapter Fly-Outs, with several of our favorite destinations accomplished and many more planned for the remainder of the year.
~ The Chapter Hangar received a major upgrade as we moved from LPG to Natural Gas, with anticipated efficiencies and cost savings over the long term. Our food grills have been converted and tested, our heating systems will be converted in the Fall.
~ Twelve (!!) new members joined the Chapter this year to-date, with our membership now standing at an impressive 162. Welcome new members!
~ While there were insufficient Chapter funds to offer any Flight Scholarships in 2022 we made donations to the Airport Future Aviators program sufficient to enable three kids to take part who otherwise were not able to afford to do so.
~ We held our first and very well attended EAA IMC Group discussion, where flight experiences were shared, as we seek to learn from each other.
~ We revised our chapter By-Laws to ensure Chapter operations were seamless, enabled more flexibility in meeting schedules, and increased Board positions. EAA National were notified of our changes.
~ We successfully moved our web site hosting and related communication services to a commercial platform.
~ We held five well-attended ‘Saturday at the Hangar’ events during the winter months, including a Chili Fest, Coffee & Cake Gatherings.
~ The Chapter was invited by DE National Guard Chapter members to New Castle Airport DNAG facility to tour a C-130 aircraft. Fifteen members enjoyed an excellent morning of aviation. Further tours are being planned.
~ A FAAast Team event related to Drone regulations, was hosted by the Chapter in our Meeting Room. More FAA events are being planned.
The Board was approached to lend support and counsel to two local Chapters who are in start-up.
In summary, congratulations and thanks to our amazing membership who have supported the Chapter in so many ways throughout the challenging COVID period. And my personal thanks to the Board members and Officers who have worked hard, dedicating many hours on behalf of the membership for the continuing success of the Chapter, and of course to our volunteers regulars who are always ready to step-up and step-in to roles as needed. As a result of this and the full membership engagement, 240 remains unique amongst EAA Chapters, with a thriving, high activity group of aviation enthusiasts.
I look forward greatly to the next six months and what we can accomplish together. There are lots of opportunities coming for further volunteer engagement from the membership (Young Eagles crew, Breakfast crew, Hangar Maintenance Work Parties etc). Look out for some calls for help in the weeks ahead and see where you can contribute to the continuing success of EAA Chapter 240.
Mike Parry, President EAA240…..for the EAA240 Board, Officers and Volunteers 2022
Shared with: EAA National, and CCHD