This piece originally ran in the March 2020 issue of EAA Sport Aviation magazine.
Cindee Schneider, EAA 1114863, has been volunteering at EAA’s annual fly-in convention for about 40 years, first in press headquarters and currently at helicopter operations. For her dedication over the past four decades, Cindee was named the 2019 Dorothy Hilbert Award recipient at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019. The Dorothy Hilbert Award is given to a female volunteer who exhibits the passion, dedication, and devotion for volunteerism that Dorothy presented throughout her life and time spent at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.
“I was incredibly surprised to even hear that I was nominated, let alone be honored with this,” Cindee said of the award. “I knew Dorothy and Buck Hilbert back in Hales Corners a long, long time ago. To even be mentioned in the same conversation with Dorothy is beyond my comprehension.”
Originally Cindee was a volunteer at press headquarters during EAA Oshkosh before moving over to helicopter operations in 2001. For nearly two decades, Cindee has been vital in making the Bell 47 helicopter tours a smooth operation and a must-do attraction for many AirVenture visitors.
“I take care of the requisitions, I work with the pilots to coordinate training for the safety procedures for the entire operation, set up the facilities to get the 2,500 people that we usually push through every year,” she said. “My fingers are basically in everything.”
As for what keeps bringing Cindee back year after year, it’s the folks she volunteers with in Oshkosh year in and year out.
“The family atmosphere is what I’m finding with the volunteer group and especially with my current group,” she said. “It’s the people as much as it is whatever aircraft you’re flying.”
Volunteers make EAA AirVenture Oshkosh — and just about everything else EAA does — possible. This space in EAA Sport Aviation is dedicated to thanking and shining the spotlight on volunteers from the community. Sadly, it cannot capture all of the thousands of volunteers who give so much to the community every year. So, next time you see a volunteer at AirVenture or elsewhere, however they are pitching in to make EAA better, be sure to thank them for it. It’s the least we can do. Do you know a volunteer you’d like to nominate for Volunteer Spotlight? Visit www.EAA.org/submissions.