Cancellation of 2015 Pancake Breakfast & Fly-In…
The Whole Story
At the September 12, 2015 Mogollon Airpark Board of Directors meeting, recently-elected board member, and EAA Chapter 1044 member, Gene Meng made the unsolicited statement that “EAA cancelled the pancake breakfast.” While that is true, it is only part of the story.
As those of you who have helped in the past know, putting on this annual event takes a huge investment of time and money. It is not something that can be pulled together in a matter of few weeks. As a Chapter, we had already secured commitments from numerous vendors and community organizations, including the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Chapter of Women in Aviation International and the Golden Mustangs, to attend our event to be held on Saturday, July 11, 2015. Volunteers were lined up. We had also expended Chapter funds for posters promoting the event and distributed them around the community. In addition, the event had been publicized in numerous publications and online resources.
In June of 2015 we became aware of a letter authored by airpark resident and current HOA board member Warren Brown and cosigned by EAA Chapter 1044 Member and MAP HOA board member Bob Greco (currently serving as president of the newly elected board.) This letter to the MAP Board of Directors, among other things, demanded that EAA Chapter 1044 secure a $20 million to $50 million insurance policy naming and indemnifying the airpark (even though the airpark currently has a $20 million policy that covers such an event). We reached out to EAA to find out if insurance in that amount was even available and were told that it was not. Mr. Brown also discusses in his letter “…the potential for litigation should the Board not act to protect the members…” You can click here to read the letter in its entirety.
After much consideration, and in light of the uncertainty of the situation, it was decided that moving forward with the pancake breakfast was not prudent. Not only was there the substantial cost of food and supplies yet to be purchased for an event that may not be permitted by the airpark board, we also felt it was only fair to give the vendors, volunteers and the public as much notice as possible.
This decision was not made lightly. Why after 20-plus years of holding this event this now became an issue can only be addressed by the author and co-signer of the aforementioned letter. Undoubtedly, this was a huge disappointment to the entire Heber-Overgaard community, but not of our making. While the future of the annual pancake breakfast and fly-in is uncertain at this point, be assured EAA Chapter 1044 will continue to support the community and advance the cause of general aviation through Young Eagle flights and our Aviation Academy Scholarship.