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Wanted : Air show coordinator in Martinsburg

December 16, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Think you have what it takes to organize an air show?

If so, Rick Wachtel wants to talk to you.

Wachtel, chairman of the Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport Authority, said the Authority is seeking someone to come up with a proposal for an air show.

He said the candidate would need to commit 30 to 40 hours a week, for six months, working on a proposed air show. Airport Authority members hope to hold the show in September 2005.

Plenty of volunteers want to help, but none can make a commitment to handle organizing a show as possibly a full-time job, Wachtel said.

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Airport Authority members were scheduled to hear an air show proposal at their meeting Wednesday morning, but the person spearheading that effort has accepted another job, Wachtel said. No proposal was presented.

"We're in the market," he said.

An air show planned for earlier this year was scrapped because of a lack of funding.

That planned two-day show - which was being organized by a national organization, the Stars and Stripes Wing of the Commemorative Air Force - had to be canceled because only about 5 percent of the money needed to put it on had been raised.

Wachtel continues to maintain that he believes an air show will be positive for the community.

People wanted to participate in the last air show and the community seemed excited about it, Wachtel said.

If someone steps forward to spearhead a new proposal, the individual would be in charge of fund raising, promoting the show, organizing security, handling parking arrangements and coordinating vendors, Wachtel said.

Proceeds from advance sales would be used to pay the person, Wachtel said.

Any additional proceeds would be much-needed by the Airport Authority. Wachtel said that another benefit of an air show is that it would bring recognition to Martinsburg's airport, which some people do not realize exists.

Above all, though, there's another reason to have an air show.

"It's good family entertainment," Wachtel said.

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