Air Zoo Blog

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What's Up at the Air Zoo?

(besides aircraft and space artifacts)

We always have fun and exciting things to share with you.  Please check back often for exhibit information and openings, event details, special Air Zoo visitors, educationand  program announcements and soooo much more!

Media contact:
Nikki Statler, Director of Marketing
nstatler@airzoo.org  |  269.350.2811

Inspiration Starts Young

Submitted by Maria Newhouse On August 4, 2019 two young aviators flew through the cloud tunnel at the Air Zoo and captured the hearts of staff and guests alike for their vintage pilot and Woman Airforce Service Pilot (WASP) outfits. Hailing from Oklahoma, Emberly (5) and Colton (almost 2) are on a mission this summer to see as many World War II bombers and events as they can within driving distance of their home – bringing their parents along for the ride. Their summer journey... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Wednesday, Aug 7, 2019
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August Guest Experience Ambassador of the Month - Lauren Fox

Lauren has been with the Air Zoo since February of 2019. Fellow Guest Experience Ambassadors praise Lauren for being a hard worker with a helpful, positive attitude who is always friendly and cheerful. Lauren is truly a valuable member of our Guest Experience team. Great job, Lauren! Thank you for all you do for the Air Zoo! *Neat photo fact: the photo was taken at the FDC (cool points if you recognize where) the day Lauren was hired! Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Monday, Aug 5, 2019
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WWII Coast Guardsman Douglas A. Munro - only member of US Coast Guard to ever receive the Medal of Honor

DOUGLAS A. MUNRO WWII COAST GUARDSMAN Medal of Honor Submitted by Don Sanborn   The Wall of Honor at the Guadalcanal Museum displays those who were awarded the Medal of Honor for service during the Guadalcanal campaign.  Included are honorees from several  U. S. military services and various ranks. Unique is U. S. Coast Guardsman Douglas A. Munro in that he is, to date, the only member of the U. S. Coast Guard to ever receive the Medal of Honor. Douglas... Read More
at Thursday, Jul 25, 2019
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How the Air Zoo inspired a young man and his dream

It can be hard to quantify the positive impact a cultural institution has on its community without experiencing that impact firsthand. MSgt. Darrik Thompson, USAF, retired, is just such a person, and for him the Air Zoo and the positive impact it has had on his life hold a very special place in his heart. “The Delano family [co-founder Sue Parish’s family] introduced my grandparents,” he recounts succinctly, “and my grandfather introduced me to aviation through the Air... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Thursday, Jul 25, 2019
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The man behind the Air Zoo's SBD-2P “Dauntless” dive bomber

John Henry Lendo One of four children of Polish immigrant Gabryel and Anna Lendo, John Henry Lendo was born July 26, 1918, in Gardner, Massachusetts. An exceptional athlete in high school, John was accepted at Dartmouth College and played on the Ivy League school’s baseball and basketball teams. A member of Dartmouth’s Naval Aviation Cadet Training Program, he enlisted as a pilot in the United States Navy immediately following his graduation in June, 1941.  The next month... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Monday, Jul 15, 2019
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July Guest Experience Ambassador of the Month - Randy Toll

This July the honor goes to Randy Toll! I am sure we all agree it is certainly well-deserved. Randy has been with the Air Zoo since March of 2018 and prior to that worked as an intern in the Exhibits & Collections department. Randy is praised for being hard-working, reliable, and always willing to jump in where needed. Great job, Randy! We appreciate all you do for the Air Zoo!   Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Monday, Jul 1, 2019
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Director of the Naval History and Heritage Command visited the Air Zoo!

The Air Zoo had a very special visitor on Thursday, June 6th.  Rear Admiral Samuel J. Cox, U.S. Navy (Retired) serves as the director of the Naval History and Heritage Command and Curator of the Navy.  He is responsible for the Navy's museums, art and artifact collections, the research library, 150 million pages of archives, and for collecting and interpreting U.S. Naval history throughout the world. Admiral Cox spent the day at our Flight Discovery Center with the... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Monday, Jun 10, 2019
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D-Day remembered at the Air Zoo

It was truly an amazing weekend for our Air Zoo family and the Kalamazoo community!  Quick recap - Our talented Exhibits & Collections team debuted a breathtaking display for the public, surrounding the significant roles airplanes, paratroopers and all things aviation played in the largest seaborne invasion in world history, D-Day, on June 6, 1944.  As America reflects on the 75th anniversary of D-Day in 2019, the Air Zoo's exhibition which explores the invasion through... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Thursday, Jun 6, 2019
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Current and Former Air Zoo EFE Students Bound for the Air Force

Submitted by Maria Newhouse   At 18, Sheldon Shen (Portage Central High School) spent two hours of each school day at the Air Zoo this year, taking part in the organization’s KRESA Education for Employment: Introduction to Aviation course taught by Alan Hollaway, who also serves as the Air Zoo’s technical services manager. About Sheldon, Mr. Hollaway shares that, “Sheldon is an outstanding example of the best of our young people, and I have no doubt he will... Read More
at Thursday, Jun 6, 2019
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June Guest Experience Ambassador of the Month - Michelle Ramirez

Congratulations to Michelle Ramirez, the Guest Experience Ambassador Employee of the Month for June! Michelle has been with the Air Zoo since October of 2018. Fellow Guest Experience Ambassadors praise Michelle for always having a helpful, positive attitude with both co-workers and guests, and for being a kind and ambitious worker who is always fun to be around. Michelle is much appreciated and such a light in our Air Zoo family! Great job, Michelle…thank you for all you do for the... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Tuesday, Jun 4, 2019
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Waldo Wright biplane rides back for the summer!

Contact:  Jill Manka Waldo Wright’s Flying Service 6151 Portage Rd., Portage, MI 49002 (863) 873-1339  |   jill@waldowrights.com www.waldowrights.com   PORTAGE, MI— Waldo Wright’s Flying Service, the nation’s largest vintage open cockpit bi-plane ride provider, is now open for their 6th season at the Air Zoo in Portage, MI, until Sep-tember 30, 2019.  Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Air Zoo in the open cockpit this sum-mer!... Read More
at Tuesday, May 14, 2019
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Air Zoo Celebrates 40 Years of Operations Throughout 2019!

Portage, MI , May 3, 2019 – In 2019, the Air Zoo celebrates four decades of flight and family; people, planes, and programs; spacecraft and science; education and exhibitions! They may have opened their doors in November of 1979, but visitors will get the chance to celebrate the 40 th Anniversary all year long in 2019! Exciting exhibits, public and VIP events, fly-ins, open houses, special visitors, symposiums, and ice cream challenges are just a handful of the inspiring... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Friday, May 3, 2019
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