I was asked at the last minute to be the guest pilot speaker at a Zonta meeting last night for their Amelia Earhart day. I enjoyed dinner at a country club with about 15 professional women, sharing my story and love of aviation. I also took this opportunity to promote the Fly it Forward event.
My favorite moment of the night was when I welcomed the room to ask me questions and to share their own stories. It's funny how when you walk into a room of people you are not sure who may have a good aviation story tucked away. One woman shared how she was a private pilot but hadn't flown in over twenty years because raising a family had become her first priority. From there we discussed that as a reason why there are less women pilots and how we could counteract that. We also discussed how uncommon it was for women to fly in the early days and how it could be frowned upon. One Zonta member shared how when her mother was a young woman she sneaked out of the house every evening to learn to fly. First solo stories were discussed when learning that when one women was in the ROTC "back in the day" she had to go through flight training and soloed at only nine hours!
As I answered questions I showed a Power Point presentation of my favorite pictures showing why I love aviation. I started with photos of my training featuring first solos and earning ratings. Next, I shared beautiful views of flying in the sunset and of beautiful island scenery. Finally I shared what I love to do, sharing aviation with others. First was a picture of my boyfriend and I and two ladies remarked, "oo he's cute!". Following the "cute" picture I shared photos of who I have taken up for their first small aircraft ride. One was my youngest brother, "he's cute too!" came an unnamed voice. My brother is 16! LOL
It was a long drive but a good night sharing a meal with professional and successful women. Most importantly, I got to share something I love: aviation.
One of the ladies embroidered this bag as a gift for presenting-isn't it great?