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2009 Int'l @ Chicago

Aux Plaines Chapter History

Aux Plaines was an offspring of the Chicago Area Chapter and also drew some members from SE Wisconsin.  The chapter was chartered on April 29, 1978, at the NCS Meeting in Kalamazoo, MI.  The charter members were:  Sue DeWulf (chairman), Ginger Moore (vice chairman), Joy Dannely (secretary), Trudy Zorc (treasurer), Caroline Jacobson (flying activities), Anna Osborn, Tracy Pilurs, Bev Greenhill, Sharon Greth, Shyrle Altemus, and Dourelle (Dee Jay) Griesheimer (Davis).  Sue DeWulf and Dee Jay Kweder are still members of the chapter.  Many of the charter members were also members of the Stick and Rudder club based at Waukegan airport.

Several 66s were involved in the formation of the chapter:  Butch Kweder, Corky Eisner and Jan Bourdage.  Adele Kweder, the mother of Butch and Dee Jay, was also in attendance at the first meeting of the prospective chapter which was held on Jan. 8, 1978 at the Stick and Rudder Club building at Waukegan airport.  When the name of our new chapter was discussed, Mrs.Kweder, an author and Lake County, Illinois historian, suggested Aux Plaines because of the history of the area.  It was the ancient French name for the territory surrounding the Des Plaines River.

Barely a year old in 1981, we organized and hosted our first Section meeting.  Then in October 1990 our second, and our third in Spring of 2001.

Our activities are varied:


Several members served on the IlliNines Air Derby Board & several members also participated in the races.  Our chapter also handled the impounding and refueling at the races.


Air marking at Westosha and runway numbers at Galt.


Shelley Ventura participates every year in the "99s Fly for Breast Cancer Cure".


Forest of Friendship sponsor.


Amelia Earhart Birthplace Sponsor.


Participated in the Great America Aviation Days program.


We held several Career Days for the Girl Scouts and participated in several other programs for the Girl Scouts.


Display booths at several Waukegan Air Shows.


Helped at the Lake County Family YMCA Air fest with registration and safety for the airplane rides.


Participated in Channel 11 pledge drive several times a year for a number of years.


Set up Women in Aviation displays in public libraries several times.

Highlights of our members:

bulletTwo 99s International Scholarship winners:  Shelley Ventura and Kim Spath
bulletNCS Director, Vice Governor, and Governor, Shelley Ventura
bullet99s International Committees:  Bunny Foley, Shelley Ventura, Sue DeWulf
bulletNCS Governor's Service Award:  Virginia Rabung, Bunny Foley

Member's other aviation activities:

bulletVirginia Rabung:  CAP, 99s/AOPA air races, member of Vintage Aero, AOPA, OX5, Cessna 120/140, Silver Wings, United Flying Octogenarians.  Also participated in a 5,000 mile Fly it Yourself Air Safari around South Africa
bulletBunny Foley:  Aero Space Medical Association, Silver Wings.
bulletShelley Ventura:  Angel Flights, EAA Young Eagle flights
bulletCarol Parmer:  ground crew at numerous EAA Young Eagle flights

Awards in Aviation:

bulletVirginia Rabung:  Illinois Aviation Hall of Fame, Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award
bulletBunny Foley: In the Cleveland Burke Lakefront International Women's Air and Space Museum, Women in Military Service for America
bulletSeveral members honored at Lake County Women's Coalition meetings.

The members of Aux Plaines, though small in number, are good friends and are dedicated to the aims and purposes of the 99s.  Over the years, we have attended almost every section meeting, raised money by having a sales table at the section meetings to support the scholarship fund, the 99s Museum of Women Pilots, the Birth Place Museum, and various chapter activities.  We just recently celebrated our 30th anniversary with a luncheon at a local restaurant.  We currently have 10 members and three 49 1/2 members, and new members are always welcome.

We look forward to hosting the 2010 Fall Section meeting and plan to hold it in conjunction with the Southeast Section.  Watch for more details as they develop!

From Waypoint (January 2009)


Last updated: 11/30/2008