Volunteer Spotlight: Sandy McKenzie
Sandy McKenzie started volunteering at SUN ’n FUN in 1976. She helped Pat Quinn, who she knew from EAA Chapter 49 in St. Petersburg. The first couple of years she worked with Pat in registration on the south side of the field. When Suzie Eickhoff decided to start a woman’s pavilion, Sandy worked with her on that for several years. “We thought if the wives who were not pilots had something to do, the husbands would stay at the Fly-In longer,” she explained. And they were right!
When Sandy and her husband Phil moved to Suwannee County in 1987, the local EAA chapter started a project to provide flight line tours during the Fly-In for people who could not go out on the flight line. Sandy and Phil volunteered with that group for several years, and also painted signs by hand for the grounds in the weeks leading up to the Fly-In.
For a couple of years Sandy and Phil handled the Compliments & Complaints Department. Phil wore a Scottish costume…including his kilt! It was very effective. “People found it hard to be angry while talking to a man in a skirt,” Sandy recalled.
Beginning in 1996, Phil and Sandy served as the campground hosts for the convention campground for about three years. Then in 1999, the exhibits manager asked her to fill in for her commercial chairman who was unable to attend that year. She has volunteered in commercial exhibits ever since.
Nowadays, the annual Fly-In is a family affair. Sandy’s daughter Vicki, son-in-law Charlie and grandson Victor all volunteer with her and Phil in commercial exhibits.