Volunteers: the wind beneath the wings of Dayton Air Show


VANDALIA — As the 2022 CenterPoint Energy Dayton Air Show taxis into position for takeoff, more than 1,200 volunteers are hard at work to make it happen.

When one thinks of an air show, one thinks of airplanes, helicopters, and of course, the pilots as the “stars” of the show. While they all play important roles, the air show would not be possible without volunteers. Volunteers who park cars. Volunteers who pick up trash. Volunteers who shuttle patrons from place to place in golf carts. Volunteers who oversee the medical services.

What? Yes, the chief medical officer the the CenterPoint Energy Dayton Air Show, Dr. Brandon Amburgey, works his “day job” as the director of the trauma department at Miami Valley Hospital.

Amburgey, like all of the other volunteers, considers it a privilege to contribute his time and talent to see that the air show goes on smoothly and safely.

The physician said that there is never a shortage of medical volunteers.

“Every year,” said Amburgey,”I get requests from my fellow physicians, nursing staff, and EMS officers. They want to volunteer. I don’t have to look very far to find people who want to work the air show.”

Another volunteer is Vectren Dayton Air Show Chairman of the Board Scott Buchanan. Buchanan takes time off from this position as chairman of the board of directors for the Ohio Masonic Community in order to do his part in making the Dayton Air Show a success each year.

Buchanan described the feeling of watching the air show come together as “an electricity”.

“You have board members who have been there 35 to 40 years and have helped make it what it is today. And they are still there. It’s all volunteer,” said Buchanan, “Once you get bit, it’s something that you can’t get away from.

Long-time volunteer Ken Kreitzer , a member of Shiela Wallace’s media committee, echos Buchanan’s sentiments.

“I got involved through my every day job in media relations for a local school district. Like Scott said, it really is like a big reunion, getting to see my friends, all over the U.S., they come in for the Dayton show.It is really rewarding. It is really a big family reunion where an air show breaks out,” Kreitzer said.

Both Kreitzer and Buchanan emphasized that an important part of the CenterPoint Energy Dayton Air Show is the effort to introduce girls to the world of aviation. Aviators are encouraging the girls to climb up in the planes and helicopters.

“You (girls) can be a pilot,” said Kreitzer, “Just because you are a girl, doesn’t mean that you can’t. There is a huge aviation focus here and it’s getting girls to consider aviation as a career.”

Like so many community events around the country, it is volunteers that make the CenterPoint Energy Dayton Air Show into the place to be this weekend.

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