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As a volunteer for the past 24 years and the current chairman of the Volunteer Center, Judy Knight, EAA 1160817, has become a vital component in organizing the volunteers prior to the convention.
“We become a catch-all spot,” Judy said of the Volunteer Center. “Any time the EAA staff needs helping setting up for the dinners at the museum for example, we try to find volunteers to cover that area. The area chairmen will need volunteers. They’ll call and say, ‘I need three volunteers for the flightline’ at a certain time. We try to find the volunteers we can take over there. We might be painting. … We just do about any and everything that needs to be done.”
Judy comes from an aviation background, so attending and volunteering at AirVenture has come naturally.
“My husband and I are both pilots,” she said. “Coming to AirVenture was an absolute must. He was a flight instructor, so he does a lot of volunteering and I had nothing to do. I first started out helping in the hospitality tent and then from there, went to POP, which is Protect Our Planes, and did that for many years. I was asked to come to the Volunteer Center, and through attrition, I have become the chairman of the Volunteer Center.”
As someone who sees on a firsthand basis how many tasks need to be completed prior to the week of AirVenture, Judy has a unique perspective as to just how important volunteers truly are to preparation.
“The volunteers that come early are very instrumental as far as getting the carpentry done, the painting done, the signs up, whatever,” she said. “I direct them over to [EAA Director of Facilities] Steve Taylor because he’s the one that knows what needs to be done when and where. At the beginning of the show, my emphasis is to send volunteers to him. When the chairmen come in, they want volunteers to cover certain things that they need. We’re trying to fulfill the area chairmen’s needs.”