St. Patty’s Day BBQ & Annual Meeting Murrieta, CA (French Valley Airport)

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St. Patty’s Day BBQ & Annual Meeting Murrieta, CA (French Valley Airport)

Our SoCal Chapter had our annual St Patty’s meeting and BBQ at Wings and Rotors Museum. Over 40 of our members, family and kids attended. One of our members, August Swanson again brought his nonprofit charity Serve-One with several volunteers and provided our BBQ meal. Serve-one has served thousands of meals to veterans and homeless this year alone. They were grateful to being included with us. We thank them so much for feeding us and supporting our veterans. 

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Attached is a current picture of the progress of the Fisher House SoCal being built at the Long Beach VA. Ground breaking was last October and it’s coming along great.

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When completed in late summer, family members will be able to stay for free while visiting injured and sick veterans at the VA Hospital. It is a great Honor for our Chapter to be part of this Fisher House with our fund raising.

Dick McCaig recently passed away. Our Chapter was able to give his family a personalized flag case with our chapter logo. As our members fly west, our plan is to have these available to give to the families.

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January 30, 2016 – Breakfast at Flo’s & Yanks Museum Tour

SoCal Chapter had a great time for breakfast at FLO’s Airport Cafe and tour at Yanks Museum at Chino airport Saturday, January 30th.

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Seated L/R are August Swanson, Ed Sakihama, Sven Akesson, Ron Warner, Randy Krekler USMC, David Fey USAF, Jim Davidson, Tom Crosby, Jim Grimm, and Bob Piatt.

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August Swanson, Chapter member and Owner of Warbird Connection gave us a guided tour at Yanks Museum. The museum has very nice Huey H model that August helped restore. 
Our annual St Paddy’s Day Meeting and BBQ will be on Saturday March 19, 11am at Wings and Rotors Museum, French Valley Airport in Murrieta. Last year about 50 members, family and friends attended and had a great time. 

November 14, 2015 Annual Meeting, Elks Club, Newport Beach, CA

The So Cal Chapter had our annual business, election meeting at the Newport Beach Elks. We had a great turnout, see attached picture. I am again your SoCal President. Ron Warner is still your Vice President and Jim Grimm is our new Secretary/Treasurer. We’re still accepting dues of $25. Until I get our new treasurer on the account you can send your dues to me. SoCal VHPA, 26601 Brandon. Mission Viejo CA 92692. Keep in mind our SoCal Chapter fund has contributed to many good causes. Our current balance is $3246.

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In the middle of January were planning, date not set yet, on having a Chapter breakfast at Flo’s Airport Cafe in Chino. Maybe also spend some time at the Chino’s Planes of fame Museum $10. They now also have a fully restored H model Huey.

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The 14th Annual Wings Wheels and Rotors Expo was held at the Los Alamitos Army Airfield and was a real success. We shared our space with Quad A (Army Aviation Association of America). This year we were unable to have a helicopter next to our booth however Andy Hoder drove his three wheel Morgan Classic and it helped draw a crowd. Many old and new friends came by but it was hard to get everyone together at the same time for the photo shoot.

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Fisher House SoCal had their groundbreaking ceremony at the Long Beach VA and over 400 attended. Next summer we will have a 16-unit facility on the VA grounds where Veteran families can stay for free while visiting Veterans at the VA Hospital. This will be the 65th Fisher House built for Veteran families. I am proud to say that our VHPA SoCal Chapter was able to help contribute funds to make this happen.

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I’d like to thank everyone for their support and help. All of you have made it possible to have a successful Chapter. 

2015 St. Patty’s Day BBQ & Annual Meeting Murrieta, CA (French Valley Airport)

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Our SoCal Chapter had our annual St Patty’s meeting and BBQ at Wings and Rotors Museum. Over 40 of our members, family and kids attended. One of our members, August Swanson brought his nonprofit charity Serve-One with several volunteers and cooked us a awesome Corned Beef and Cabbage meal. Serve-one has served thousands of meals to veterans and homeless this year alone. They were grateful to being included with us. We thank them so much for feeding us and supporting our veterans. 

On April 14th Ron Warner VP and I are invited to the Fisher House SoCal Board of Directors Meeting at the Long Beach VA. We will at that time give them a check for $2300 from our fundraiser. This will be matched by Fisher House National. This matched total of $4600 will help build a 21 unit living facility on the Long Beach VA property. Family members will be able to stay for free while visiting injured and sick veterans at the VA Hospital. Ground breaking is scheduled this coming July. It is a great Honor for our Chapter to be part of this Fisher House. 

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2014 St. Patty’s Day BBQ & Annual Meeting

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On Saturday March 15th 11am the SoCal Chapter had their Annual St Patty’s BBQ and meeting at Wings and Rotors Museum at French Valley Airport. This is the home of the UH 1-B Gunship and still fly’s to many events through out CA. It was the lead ship of Flying Thunder accompanying Rolling Thunder to The Wall in DC a few years back. The museum also has a CH-34, OH-58, TH-55 and F4 which they plan on flying soon. We had a great showing, check out the photos.

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2013 Annual Meeting in Newport Beach, CA – Newport Elks

The SoCal Chapter meeting at the Newport Elks went well and had a good turnout. I am again the Chapter President. Ron Warner is Vice President and Dick McCaig our Treasurer. We all agreed on the fund raising for the Fisher House at the Long Beach VA. Our Chapter fund will donate $1000 and were hoping to get at least another $1000 from our members. I will have more info on this in about a week. As of today our chapter fund balance is $4386.
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SoCal Chapter members at the Elk’s Club wharf in Newport Beach, CA 

The last flying CH-21 Shawnee nicknamed the Flying Banana will be at the Wings Wheels and Rotor Expo at Los Alamitos on Oct 27. One of the pilots flying the CH-21 will be Major General (Ret) Robert Brandt who flew them in Vietnam 62-63. MG Brandt had 45 years of military service with over 20 years at Los Alamitos Army Airfield. MG Brandt also is the author of Thunderbird Lounge, about his experiences as a CH -21 pilot in the Vietnam War. This CH-21 is based at The Classic Rotors Helicopter Museum at Ramona Airport. It’s powered by the R-1820 radial engine with 1425 hp. It could carry 20 troops and over 700 were built. Last year 35000 attended and $19000 was donated to the MWR at Los Alamitos. The CH-21 will be on displayed next to our VHPA SoCal info booth in the Warbird section in front of base ops The Entrance and parking is free. wwrexpo.net.
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