By Steve Manganelli
Oh what a night! The stars aligned to have our Winter banquet at the Aerospace Museum catered by Lisa Waln (Mrs. Brad Bender) this past Friday, February 18th. The food was fantastic, the ambience beautiful and the turn out awesome. I want to thank everyone whom bought tickets as early as 4 months ago, expecting a Saturday event for making it on a Friday. I had the privilege of checking people in and doling out tickets (with help from the Mrs. Michelle M.) to what was certainly the best raffle we’ve ever had. Congratulations to Larry (Lucky) Kosta and Mary Riney (also a pilot), whom both won airplanes!
I also need to thank the people whom worked selflessly to bring the banquet about. Our Chairman of the Board Jovi Murek did a fabulous job as Master of Ceremonies. He kept us entertained and on the edge of our seats anticipating the next airplane give away. Jovi was also the procurer and selector of the airplanes in the Raffle (great choices Jovi!). Thanks also to Lisa Waln for procuring the Women’s prizes. Fortunately, that was long done before she knew she was also going to be the Caterer. Our Vice President and temporary Treasurer Quan Nguyen did all the arrangements with the Museum and the caterer to keep the bills straight, well done, Quan! Thanks to Steve Neu of Neumotors for providing a nice selection of chargers for the raffle at cost and to Jim Bonnardel for donating a Hitec charger and some Teeshirts and hats. Many thanks to Claire Diffenbach for drawing the tickets for the airplanes. The last person I want to thank had something to do with the banquet (there were rumors about the delicious appetizer meatballs…) but Mr. Brad Bender was called to the stage and recognized with a plaque commemorating his selfless leadership to the Silent Electric Flyers of San Diego. Thanks to you Brad, for all you did officially over the last 9 years and what you continue to do for us unofficially.
Weekend before last, we had some outstanding weather for February. Temperature was in the 80s and the field was packed for T-28 Racing : 16 participants, and all time high. I want to recognize and thank Frank Sutton for designing the new Medals and was proud to award him the first one as medal artwork designer. Frank is our “house” photographer and put out a fabulous 2021 retrospective in January’s newsletter. It is truly our year in pictures and urge you to go back to last month’s newsletter to find the link: https://www.sefsd.org/club-info/sefsd-memories-2021-video/. Speaking of medals, they are also to be awarded to the 1st 3 places in our monthly Members Meeting/Fun Contest so even non-T-28 racers have a chance to earn one of these custom beauties. So come on out this Saturday and take your chances at the Poker fly and maybe pick up a medal!
If you are the last one out, it is important to close and lock the gate! Our permit with the City requires us to have the gate locked when we are not flying. As a practical matter, if you are flying toward early afternoon on a weekend day and it looks you and only a few others remain, it is prudent to communicate among yourselves as to whom is to lock the gate. There have been situations that non-members are the last ones there and as non-members, do not have the combination to do so. It is necessary and polite to warn any spectators in vehicles to be on the other side of the gate once you lock it lest they be locked in. Most people that are there to spectate are in or near their cars to be warned to leave, but not always. The other week we had an unfortunate incident where an apparent locked in person, used a Sawzall on the gate latch fence to free his vehicle.
To preserve the operation of SEFSD, we need a new Treasurer as soon as possible and longer term, a new Membership Chairman. Quan Nguyen has done a fabulous job of keeping us in the black while George Sullivan has been selflessly printing and handing out badges for several years. The current office holders have honed these jobs to the minimum efforts required and will train you.
Lastly, I’d like to call your attention to Minutes of the February BOD meeting. The most important item therein is the possibility of having our altitude limit increased. It’s going to be a long row to hoe, but for now, it is absolutely vital that we adhere to current rule (200 ft) and 50 to 75 feet when full scale aircraft are passing over. Our compliance to the current agreement will be a factor in any decision to increase our limit!