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More Benches Arrive for AirVenture Grounds

Willansí generosity comes from the heart

Sweepstakes Husky
Craig and Connie Willan pictured by the permanent plaque dedicated last summer at AirVenture.

Sweepstakes Husky

October 29, 2009 — During the long, event-filled days at AirVenture Oshkosh 2009, attendees were grateful for the opportunity to stop and take a load off their feet, thanks to the 100 new benches donated to EAA by members Craig and Connie Willan. As EAA wrote before last summer’s convention, the benches were donated as a special tribute to Craig’s brother, Brent, who suffered from brain cancer and needed to rest frequently during visits to Oshkosh in the years before his untimely death.

The Willans recently made good on their pledge to provide even more benches - 154 of them arrived at the convention grounds earlier this month and will be in place for next year’s AirVenture Oshkosh. The benches not only provide respite on long days, but also time to reflect, take in the ambience, and enjoy the spirit of aviation.

Their hope is that people of all ages, conditions, and points in their lives can enjoy AirVenture, find the rest they need as they walk the grounds and rekindle their spirit. That hope is expressed in the poem inscribed on the permanent plaque on the flight line presented to Craig and Connie during a special ceremony held at the convention last summer to mark this unique donation:

Come ol’ tired soul and rest
For experiencing AirVenture is our quest
Our journey on these grounds is long
Our legs and feet, they must be strong
So sit right down and stay a bit
Temper your pace – you’ll not want to quit
In just a while you’ll soon feel it
We all agree, AirVenture is a hit!
In Memory of Brent Willan

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