|Randy Hansen, second from right in the top row, poses with the 2012 Make-A-Wish contingent at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. (Photo by Hilary Lawrence)
During its annual event at AirVenture 2012, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin surprised EAA's Randy Hansen, government relations director and EAA MAW coordinator, with a Wish Star signifying that a child's special wish had been granted in his name.
"Make-A-Wish Wisconsin is eternally grateful to EAA, Randy Hansen, and everyone who has a hand in creating a very special and memorable day for some of our special wish children and their families each year," said Kris Teofilo, regional director.
Hansen earlier this year announced he will retire in October and when Teofilo learned about it made a point to do something special to recognize his 14 years of support for the EAA AirVenture event.
"We were thrilled to recognize him as a sponsor of wish child Meghan's special wish to go to a horse ranch in Wyoming," Teofilo explained. "We awarded Randy with Meghan's wish star during this year's Make-A-Wish day at AirVenture to honor him for all that he has done through EAA and personally over the years to bring hope, strength, and joy to so many local wish children and their families.
"On behalf of wish families, our board of directors and staff of Make-A-Wish Wisconsin, we thank Randy for his heartfelt commitment to the Make-A-Wish mission!"
During his tenure as EAA MAW coordinator working with other International Federal Partnership representatives, EAA has made the special wishes of 60 children come true. "It has been my extreme pleasure to support and coordinate EAA's MAW program over the past 14 years and I thank MAW for this special honor," Hansen said.
"While this award was presented to me, EAA's successful MAW program is a direct result of the efforts of EAA employees, volunteer escorts from the Federal Pavilion and EAA tram operations, exhibitors who donated gifts, and pilots who provided flights in everything from the EAA's Bell 47 and Ford Tri-Motor to the LSA aircraft provided by exhibitors Just Aircraft, Savage Aircraft, and M-Squared."