Wahlin Foundation Makes $10,000 Grant

Wahlin Foundation Makes $10,000 Grant on Behalf of Stoughton Trailers, LLC

The Wahlin Foundation, Inc. of Stoughton, Wis. has awarded a $10,000 grant on behalf of
Stoughton Trailers, LLC to the Kelch Aviation Museum at Brodhead Airport.

The new museum will feature restored vintage aircraft from the “Golden Age of Aviation”
(1920-1940) and a large rentable banquet space, in addition to an aviation art gallery and
an extensive aviation library. The facility will be open to the public year round, and will
also include regular classes in STEM-related activities. A capital campaign launched in 2016 has raised nearly $600,000 to date and was recently awarded an additional $370,000 challenge grant.

The Alfred & Lois Kelch Aviation Museum, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit educational corporation
with a mission, “To establish and operate a museum that celebrates the golden age of
aviation and cultivates an appreciation of its powerful impact on science, engineering and
design, and humanity’s understanding of its own limitless potential.”

The mission of the Wahlin Foundation is to support the charitable needs in the
communities where the manufacturing plants of Stoughton Trailers, LLC are located.

Alfred & Lois Kelch Scholarship Deadline is Nov. 15

2018 – VAA Chapter 11 – Alfred H. & Lois Kelch and MAAC Scholarship

Mission
VAA Chapter 11 wants to introduce aviation to young people to keep aviation strong for the future. The members of VAA Chapter 11 support youth aviation and will now offer an annual scholarship to a deserving applicant while developing youth aviation support activities with encouragement for all members to participate.

ELIGIBILITY: OPEN TO YOUNG PEOPLE (AGE 15-19 as of the deadline date) INTERESTED IN PURSUING THEIR INTERESTS IN ANY FIELD OF AVIATION. SHOULD BE A RESIDENT OF S/E WISCONSIN.

The Chapter’s Scholarship Committee will award the scholarship annually to that applicant which in their sole judgment excels in the areas of:
– Aviation Interest
– Enthusiasm
– Academics and/or Civic Involvement

The top scholarship now known as the 2018 VAA 11 – Alfred H and Lois Kelch and Maac Scholarship, in the amount of $2,000, will be awarded at a Chapter meeting or event. Additional scholarships in lesser amounts may be awarded.

Please make sure you fill in as many different experiences in the following areas: flying, hobbies, academic and civic.

You are required to send us two letters of recommendation by the deadline (Word or PDF attachments only) to Reto Frei, retofr@gmail.com.

Finalists will be notified and asked to attend a personal interview after the deadline. The Committee will, at their sole discretion, rate the applicants by the criteria outlined and present the scholarship. The scholarship recipients will be notified of the award, and the recipients and guests will be invited to receive the awards at a Chapter meeting or event at: Capitol Drive Airport, 21500 Gumina Road, Brookfield, Wisconsin 53072.

For any questions on this application / scholarship please contact any of the following:
Sharron Mitchell, smitc3@gmail.com, 414-339-6350
Ken Reese, kreesecfi@gmail.com,414-378-6022
Reto Frei, retofr@gmail.com, 414-828-1890

Application Deadline is November 15, 2018

Link to Application is HERE

Hamburger Social on Wednesday, August 22

 

This time we’re serving chicken breast and pulled pork sandwiches along with other picnic-type items. Fly in, drive in or bike in, but come out to the museum and enjoy some aviation fellowship.

We’ll have some of the museum aircraft out on display, weather permitting.

 

William S. Knight Foundation Makes $370,000 Challenge Grant

The Kelch Aviation Museum is proud to announce a major gift from the William S. Knight Foundation, a challenge grant of $370,000 toward the construction of a new museum facility. The main hangar at the new museum will be named, “The Bill & Sue Knight Memorial Vintage Aviation and Automotive Building.”

The new museum will feature 16 restored vintage aircraft from the “Golden Age of Aviation” (1920-1940) and a large rentable banquet space, in addition to an aviation art gallery and technical library. The facility will be open to the public year round, and will be a community resource for Brodhead and the surrounding area. A capital campaign launched in 2016 has raised nearly $600,000 to date.

“With this challenge grant, we need to raise a matching $370,000, then we’ll meet our final goal of $1.3 Million and be able to start building” said Patrick Weeden, Executive Director of the museum. “We hope to start construction in 2019.”

Bill Knight was a venerable presence at Brodhead Airport, and restored many different vintage aircraft over four decades. He was a founding member of EAA Chapter 431 and the Midwest Antique Airplane Club. He passed away in March, 2016. His wife Sue passed away in 2009.

The Alfred & Lois Kelch Aviation Museum, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit educational corporation with a mission, “To establish and operate a museum that celebrates the golden age of aviation and cultivates an appreciation of its powerful impact on science, engineering and design, and humanity’s understanding of its own limitless potential.” The museum plans regular educational programming for area youth and adults alike.

For more information, call museum Executive Director, Patrick Weeden at 608-897-1175 or e-mail at pweeden@kelchmuseum.org

Charlie

As a non-profit museum, we are in the fundraising business and like it or not, asking people for money is part of the daily grind. Sometimes though, an unsolicited donation comes in that rewards all of the effort and reaffirms what we are trying to do at the Kelch Aviation Museum. 

“Charlie” visited us last week from the Atlanta area. He got an airplane ride in a J-3 Cub from one of the locals at Brodhead Airport and we shot video form a wing mounted camera for him to take home and show his friends. Just a fun thing to do for a young kid with a big interest in aviation. He had a great time and promised to come back again next summer.

We received the following letter from Charlie yesterday along with $23 in cash. Its hard to put into perspective what this small amount of cash means coming from a young kid, but it certainly keeps us motivated to get our capital campaign finished this year and start building the new museum facility. Thanks, Charlie!   

Hamburger Social is Wednesday June 13

The Kelch Aviation Museum is once again hosting a “Wisconsin Flying Hamburger Social” on Wednesday, June 13 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. This is a casual, weeknight event designed to give local pilots a place to fly and a reason to go flying!

Brats, burgers and other picnic-type stuff will be served from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Fly in, drive in or bike in, but come out to the  museum and enjoy some aviation fellowship.

We’ll have some of the museum aircraft out on display, weather permitting.

Stearman C3B from Kelch Museum. Photo by Jim Koepnick.

Our Wish List

In the course of operating a non-profit museum, large unbudgeted expenses sometimes come up. This is true of any organization. 

In our case, owning 2.5 acres of property requires a quality lawn tractor to keep the place looking nice and up until now, we have been using borrowed equipment from one of our renters. Well, our renter moved out last fall so we are now without a good mower. We have a small backup riding mower but it is not long for this world.

We could purchase a new lawn tractor, but those thousands of dollars would be taken away from our new museum operating fund. Instead of appealing to donors for cash to buy a mower, we thought it best to ask around to see if anyone has a good tractor they are willing to donate. You get the tax write off and we get our grass mowed.

So, we have established a “Wish List” of large items that we need but don’t necessarily have the immediate funding to purchase. If you can help out, please contact us.

  • Lawn Tractor – at least 48″ cut
  • Golf Cart – 4-seat preferred, gas or electric
  • Old laptop or small form factor computer – to run videos during our events

Preferred Altitude Podcast

Our friend Patrick Webb from Preferred Altitude, LLC stopped by the Kelch Aviation Museum last August to do an interview for his Preferred Altitude Podcast. The podcast has just been published and you can listen to it here:

10 – Brodhead Airport’s Kelch Aviation Museum

Be sure to check out the Preferred Altitude website where you can buy some nifty vintage aircraft merchandise with the original licensed logos from Ercoupe, Navion, Stinson and others. Cool stuff there!

Kelch Fly-In – 1979

We recently unearthed this great photograph of an antique airplane fly-in at Al and Lois Kelch’s home near Mequon, Wisconsin dated September, 1979.

If you look closely, you can see a wonderful assortment of vintage and antique airplanes and no shortage of cars and people. Looks like a great time, and underscores how long Al & Lois’ “Museum” and love for old airplanes has been around.