Kickoff of "Wilbear" Program for 2022-2023
Representatives from fourteen Aviation Trail sites were present on April 13, 2022 for a site meeting hosted by ATI at the Aviation Trail Visitor Center. ATI president Steve Brown welcomed the group and opened discussion so that representatives could share news and updates about their sites.
Pictured below: ATI president Steve Brown, seated at the far right. Standing next to him is Marvin Christian, discussing the "Wilbear" program.
The meeting was used to introduce updates to the popular “Wilbear” program for 2022-2023. The program has been in place for several years to encourage visits to the trail sites. Visitors to the sites can receive a stamp in a passport brochure, and by accumulating stamps from at least eight different sites, can qualify for a FREE "Wilbear" aviation teddy bear. (See the “Trail Sites” page on the website for the full details and requirements). ATI’s Marvin Christian explained the changes and new policies for the program. One of the new features of the program is that there will now be seven sites where visitors who complete the eight stamps can pick up their bear.
These distribution/pick up sites are:
#4 Dayton History (Carillon Park)
# 9 Wright "B" Flyer
#11 WACO Air Museum
#12 Armstrong Air & Space Museum
#13 Champaign Aviation Museum
#15 Tri-State Warbird Museum
#16 Butler County Warbirds
A new update of the Aviation Trail brochure was also introduced, and cartons were provided to the site representatives. The brochure contains the “passport” page for receiving the stamps and includes the updated policies to the program. Visitors can pick up the new brochure at the sites and it can also be download from the ATI website. Supplies of the bears were also provided to the distribution sites.
After the meeting, the attendees all celebrated Wilbur Wright’s April 16 birthday (155th) with cake and refreshments.
Aviation Trail thanks the site representatives for attending and helping to kickoff the “new” Wilbear program.
Sites 1a, 1c, 2, 3a, 3b, 3c Dayton Aviation Heritage National Park Supt. Kendell Thompson
Site 1b Aviation Trail Parachute Museum Randy Zuercher
Sites 4 & 7 Carillon Historical Park/Hawthorn Hill Alex Heckman, Emily Teters
Site 5 National Museum of USAF Lisa Riley
Site 9 Wright “B” Flyer Don Adams
Site 10 WSU Special Coll. & Archives Jane Wildermuth
Site 11 WACO Air Museum Patty Wagner, Rachel Currie, Dawn Currie
Site 12 Armstrong Air & Space Museum Deanna Kindell
Site 13 Champaign Aviation Museum Jessica Henry
Site 15 Tri-State Warbird Museum Noah Stegman Rechtin
Site 16 Butler County Warbirds Tim Epperhart, Michelle Smith
Site 17 Sinclair National UAS Training & Cert. Ctr. Dr. Andrew Shepherd
Attendees included 14 members of the Aviation Trail board of trustees.
THANKS TO ALL!