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Volunteers key to show

Community pitches in

by: Photo by Tom Brown - Living Hope Christian Center volunteers man the entrance to the air show.

As the Airshow of the Cascades has grown in popularity over the past decade, local officials are quick to point out that two elements are key to the event's success.
   "The local sponsors and volunteers make the show possible from their commitment year after year," said Tom Brown, air show chairman.
   And this year's event Aug. 24 and 25, was no exception.
   "People like Gary Gruner, of Gruner Chevrolet, who was the first to step up as a major sponsor of the 2012 Airshow of the Cascades, are the backbone of the show," said Brown. "Without our local sponsors, the show would not have the importance to the community and the Central Oregon region."
   Brown estimated that there were at least 100 volunteers. "Nobody gets paid to do this; all the dollars we raise go to put on the show," he said.
   "One group that really did well for us was the Living Hope Christian Center," said Brown. "They handled the gate as a community service."
   The Elks Club put on the annual Aviators' Breakfast on Saturday morning, as well as operating the beer garden, with assistance from Budweiser this year for the first time.
   The Rotary Club of Jefferson County held a fundraising golf ball drop at the air show, and dropped over 2,000 balls. The event raised over $8,000 for the club.
   Proceeds from the event will benefit scholarships for local high school students, and assist with youth exchange programs. The winners of the event were: Mick Goss, first place, $1,000; Scott Powell, second, $500; Dick Junge, third, $200; and Gary White, fourth, $100.
   This year, the Buff Booster Club sold official air show T-shirts, and sold cases of Earth2O water to the vendors, who were required to sell only the local water.
   "They did really well, and the air show is really generous in giving us a percentage of every T-shirt sold." said Rory Oster, Booster Club liaison to Madras High School, who worked with about 10 volunteers.
   "We probably sold about 300 units, between T-shirts and polos with official air show logos," he said. "We will definitely be back."
   Allen Hair, MHS boys basketball coach and sophomore class advisor, rounded up a handful of youths to work at the Madras Bowl and Pizza booth as a fundraiser.
   "We had five kids show up for the pizza booth," he said. "We're looking forward to doing it next year if the opportunity arises."
   Rick Allen, treasurer for the air show, said that the committee has made a concerted effort to "spread the wealth" and involve nonprofits in the Madras area.
   "This is another key strategy to growing the show and making sure it's a relevant event to all aspects of the community," he said.