Letter to the Air Beat Editor - A Happy Boy and His Helicopter

Posted Saturday, August 18 2012 as Company News

July 23, 2012

Lisa Wright
Publisher, Air Beat Magazine
726 Pasadena Ave. South
St. Petersburg, FL 33707

RE: ALEA 2012 Reno, Vendor Giveaway

Dear Lisa,

Sandel is not that different than other vendors attending your national conventions by offering a giveaway promotion in our booth. What does make this year’s promotion unique are the circumstances and events surrounding the drawing of the winner and the outcome of it.

Throughout the convention I was collecting business cards for a drawing to be done on the last day of the event at 2 PM. One family visitor stood out, not so much for themselves but for their 9 year old son. Retired Captain Kevin Vislocky, wife Wendy and son Will stopped by to enter and Will was so excited when he saw our large scale remote controlled helicopter that he was almost jumping up and down. Will stopped by a few times during the show to drop in another of his dad’s business cards to increase his chances of winning and was a real kick to have around.

Friday 2 PM arrived and you can be sure, Will was there with his mom and he dropped in one final business card just to make sure his dad was entered. With his extreme enthusiasm boiling over, I chose to have Will pick the winner out of a bag of business cards.

Just a minute before 2 PM one more attendee rushed in to drop his card in the bag. This was Mr. Gary Loff from Potomac Aviation Technology, a fellow vendor, longtime participant in ALEA functions and creator of Super AWOS--a technology used by many police aviation operations. This may not seem to be an important note but it is.

The time came and Will’s hand went into the bag with the instructions to only bring out one single card so we could name the winner. Well, the card pulled was Gary Loff, the very last person to enter the drawing.

As soon as I read his name, the disappointment in Will’s eyes was devastating. He ran to his mom, buried himself in her arms in grief and was visibly shattered. I wasn’t the only one that noticed. Gary spoke softly for Will to come over. I could immediately sense what was about to happen and instructed Will to listen very carefully to what Gary had to say.

Gary asked a few simple questions of Will such as was he a good boy, was he doing good in school, and did he mind his parent? Of course Will portrayed himself as an angel with a choked up positive response to each question.

Gary then handed Will the helicopter and said it was his. Will was beside himself in pleasure and didn’t really believe what was happening. Best of all, neither did his mom. Will was wearing a smile bigger than a crescent moon and his mom was in tears.

Wendy left to retrieve her husband Kevin and of course dad’s first reaction was "What’s wrong and what did Will do?" They both returned to my booth to see that Will didn’t do anything wrong at all. Kevin was in complete disbelief that Gary could have done something so incredibly generous for his son and was nearly without words other than repeated attempts to thank anyone and everyone. Many of the thanks were directed at me and I explained that it wasn’t me who had done this kind gesture; it was only Mr. Gary Hoff that deserved all the credit.

Since the drawing was held just 2 hours before the close of the convention, Will paid me one more visit at about 4 PM. This time he had stopped by to offer to help me take down and pack my displays. It was amazing.

In all my many years of participating with the ALEA, I have never had a more fulfilling outcome of a promotional drawing and don’t ever expect to have another like this one. One thing is for sure, little Will Vislocky sure picked more than a winning ticket, he picked the kindest winner in the world.

I am proud to be part of such a fraternal fellowship.

With Deepest Sincerity,

Jerry E. Henry
Director of Sales
Sandel Avionics