HUMANITARIAN SPOTLIGHT: Valiant Air Command Volunteers are the Heart and Soul of Organization
By Space Coast Daily // February 12, 2020
passion to preserve history of aircraft that protected our country
The 498 volunteers of Titusville’s Valiant Air Command’s Warbird Air Museum keep the flame of history alive for future generations. The museum could not exist without volunteers, which from January through May of this year gave 24,347 hours.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The 498 volunteers of Titusville’s Valiant Air Command’s Warbird Air Museum keep the flame of history alive for future generations.
“Volunteers are the heart and soul of our warbird organization,” said marketing and public relations director Laura Kelly.
“Their dedication to the preservation of these aircraft, and to other museum tasks, is great testament to their passion to not only preserve the history of the aircraft that protected our country, but also to honor the men and women who served our country during our time of greatest need.”
The museum could not exist without volunteers, which from January through May of this year gave 24,347 hours.
“Tour guides give an average of anywhere between 12 to 24 hours per week and our maintenance volunteers give anywhere between 16 and 34 hours per week,” explained Kelly.
Founded in 1977, the museum has a continually growing collection of approximately 50 military aircraft from the early days of aviation to the present day.
The museum’s beloved flagship, the Tico Belle, is a monument to the men and women who served in World War II.
The Douglas C-47 Skytrain survived D-Day and went on to serve a distinguished record of combat in the liberation of Europe and later participated in the Berlin Airlift.
Volunteers, many of them veterans or related to veterans, keep the grand old lady aloft so she can continue to tell her story. During the museum’s annual airshow, the Tico Belle is always the queen of the show.
From uniforms to weapons, the museum has amassed an impressive collection of memorabilia That offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into the history of military aviation.
Each spring, the metal birds flock to Space Coast Regional Airport, home airstrip for the museum. Here, 80-year-old biplanes and modern aircraft convene for a weekend of flight, to the delight of thousands of Space Coast residents.
During the airshow, the museum depends on hundreds of volunteers to make the show possible.
From 17-year-old volunteer Kayla Comeau, who spends her free time leading tours at the museum, to 95-year-old retired Air Force Major Joseph Reus, who was shot down twice during World War II and serves the museum as a volunteer machinist, the corps of volunteers keep the Warbird Air Museum flying high.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE CENTRAL FLORIDA HUMANITARIAN ALUMNI
2018 CENTRAL FLORIDA HUMANITARIAN AWARDS
Recognizing Outstanding Individuals & Organizations Who Dedicate Their Time, Talent and Treasure
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The 2018 Central Florida Humanitarians have been announced and include outstanding individuals and organizations from the medical, business, education and governmental communities.
The Central Florida Humanitarian honorees will be recognized during a Gala event on Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place in Melbourne, Florida.
The Central Florida Humanitarian Awards were created nine years ago by Space Coast Daily to recognize outstanding individuals and organizations that dedicate their time, talent or treasure to help people in need locally – and around the world.
TIME: In this category consider candidates who have selflessly and consistently devoted their time as volunteers at hospitals and nursing homes, in activities for the less fortunate and as organizers, administrators or operatives in the many other altruistic endeavors in our community.
TALENT: In this category give consideration to those who have volunteered their special talents and expertise to address specific circumstances in which the lives of those in need are improved.
TREASURE: The humanitarians in this category will include those who have generously shared their monetary good fortune and/or volunteered their time and efforts in fundraising for the advancement of a philanthropic cause.
All 2018 honorees will be featured in the Oct/Nov 2018 edition of Space Coast Daily magazine and on SpaceCoastDaily.com. The magazine will be available the first week of October in both print and digital editions, which will also be available on SpaceCoastDaily.com
ORGANIZATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS TO BE HONORED INCLUDE:
• Jessica Andre
• Leonard Beam
• Harry Brandon, in Memoriam
• Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Pet Posse
• Brevard Veterans Memorial Center Volunteers
• Bridges Foundation
• Michael Bross, A Step Up
• Keri Anne Demott Foundation
• Lori Duester and Liz Mikitarian, Youth Mental Health Task Force
• Florida Wildlife Hospital & Sanctuary
• Christine Lance
• Rev. Lorenzo Laws
• Larry McNamara, Giant Recreation World
• Dr. David Neely
• Neighbors of Suntree
• Ashley Nolan
• Mark Pieloch, Founder of the Muscle Car Museum
• Dr. Mark Pinsky
• Joe Rodriguez, McDonald’s Restaurants of Brevard County
• Susan Slaton
• Stephen Thaggard, Embrace Home Loans
• The Avenue Viera
• Barbie Thrower, Community Treatment Center
• Valiant Air Command Volunteers
• Mac McLouth, 2018 Central Florida Humanitarian Lifetime Achievement honoree
HONORING SELFLESS VOLUNTEERISM
As always, the Central Florida Humanitarian committee will also honor hospital and hospice volunteers from Health First Hospice, the Dr. Jey Pillai Center for Hospice Care at Wasdin Woods, VITAS, Hospice of St. Francis, Health First Cape Canaveral Hospital, Health First Viera Hospital, Health First Holmes Regional Medical Center, Health First Palm Bay Hospital, Melbourne Regional Medical Center, Rockledge Regional Medical Center, the VA Clinic in Viera, and Sebastian River Medical Center.
“Over the years, our editorial team has had the distinct honor and pleasure of identifying and featuring the many members of our community who give back so much and are dedicated to reaching out and helping others, here and throughout the world, in a multitude of ways,” said Space Coast Daily Editor-In-Chief Dr. Jim Palermo.
JOIN US FOR AN INSPIRATIONAL EVENING
This inspiring and compelling event is sponsored by First Choice Medical Group, Clear Choice Health Care, Total Home Roofing, Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, Rock Paper Simple, Embrace Home Loans, Adventure HQ, Florida Pain Institute, CFP Care Team, Dr. Mark Pinsky, Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place, Friday Night Locker Room, Safari Mail House and SpaceCoastDaily.com.
Each honoree or organization will be presented the Central Florida Humanitarian Crystal Globe. Stay tuned to Space Coast Daily for exclusive and comprehensive multimedia coverage of each honoree as we present their compelling stories.
For more information or to make a reservation to attend the 2018 Central Florida Humanitarian Awards Gala, call 321-323-4460 or 321-615-8111 or e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com
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