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Aviation Wins Air Race Best Stop Award

Aviation Wins Air Race Best Stop Award

The Institute of Aviation at Parkland College has won the Best Stop Award from the national 2016 Air Race Classic.
 
Representing the oldest women’s networking organization in aviation, the Air Race Classic took place June 21–24. This year's race celebrated the group's 40th anniversary and honored colleges and universities that have flight programs. The race began in Arizona with stops in New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida. Air Race Classic pilots range in age from 17 to 90 years old and come from a wide variety of backgrounds; 130 pilots raced.
 
During the race, the pilots stopped at Willard Airport to refuel and remain overnight. Air Race Classic Route Division Director Theresa White said many of the racers gave her positive stories and notes of appreciation about the hospitality and accommodations from Parkland College and the Champaign County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
 
"I happened to be at their stop when [institute Director] Sybil Phillips did a briefing with all the volunteers right before the first group of racers was about to arrive," White said. "It was impressive! It was 'safety first' and planned with a good understanding of racer behaviors and needs."
 
Among their many services, the ARC volunteers at Willard provided cold washcloths and bottles of water when each team of racers arrived, quick turnaround time for refueling, and home-cooked food, snacks, and drinks for refreshment. They also facilitated maintenance services, arranged with local hotels for discounts, and provided transportation for racers to hotels before and after normal shuttle hours of operation.

Racers later voted on the best stop, which was announced at the group's awards banquet June 26.
 
"The Institute of Aviation was honored to be selected as a stop on this year's Air Race Classic," Phillips said. "Our volunteers were awesome and went above and beyond to meet the needs of the racers. As Stop Chair, it was exciting to see our volunteers provide outstanding service to these women who are carrying on the tradition of women's air racing. Many thanks to Flightstar for providing excellent flight line and maintenance service."

Parkland College