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Volunteers make EAA possible

Nearly 30 volunteers work for weeks before the EAA takes flight in Oshkosh to make sure the nearly 650,000 expected visitors have a great experience.
EAA Volunteers say they look forwarding to contributing their help every year.
Posted at 3:00 AM, Jul 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-24 11:24:03-04

OSHKOSH (NBC 26) — The annual EAA AirVenture wouldn't be possible without its dedicated volunteers.

Melissa Furney has been volunteering for about seven years, and NBC 26 Today's MacLeod Hageman had the opportunity to sit down with her while she made thousands of AirVenture buttons they hand out every year.

Furney says she looks forward to volunteering every year and taking part in the week-long event.

"We've become a family. So, we get to come, and we've met more people since we've been volunteering, and we come early, and we've been here all month. So, it's kind of like a reunion. So, we see people that we vacation with outside of EAA," Furney said.

Furney says her favorite part of EAA is the fireworks show and connecting with people all around the world.

She recently met a family from China who flew in to see the different aircraft.

Ron Lindgren is the EAA Print and Mail Center Manager.

Lindgren agrees the event wouldn't be possible without dedicated volunteers like Furney, because they make sure everyone who passes through the gates has a great experience.

Lindgren says volunteers have been working for weeks to make sure everything comes together.

He says volunteers will stay busy during the morning hours of the week-long EAA, delivering more than 20,000 newspapers to visitors.

Lindgren says the volunteers are in charge of doing everything from making brochures to buttons.

"We look forward to them coming. Some of them come as soon as May, and three weeks before we have over 30 volunteers for this department, and it's like a family," Lindgren said.

Lindgren said they'll get a short break once this year's EAA event wraps up, and then they'll quickly start planning for next year's activities.