Sunday, November 15, 2020

Tom Delano: Plymouth Aero Club 2020 Airman of the Year

Tom Delano

PLYMOUTH – Memberships in many clubs faced challenges even before the coronavirus put a lid on social interaction.

In recent years, many long-established organizations saw an exodus as people found virtual connections to their lives online.

Not so, the Plymouth Aero Club. The club is open to anyone with a passion for aviation or Plymouth Municipal Airport. Most members are also pilots. But just seven or eight years ago, membership had dwindled to just seven or eight members.

About the same time, a pilot from Duxbury became involved in the group.

Over the last five years, Tom Delano has served as the Plymouth Aero Club’s treasurer. During that time he implemented an new investment strategy and set up and maintained an airport campaign that raised more than $75,000.

Delano also managed finances for the 2018 Plymouth Air Show, established an electronic payment option for tickets and managed free movie nights at the airport.

Perhaps even more impressively, Delano helped revive interest in the club. In recent years, the club has grown to more than 100 paying members – the greatest participation in its history.

In appreciation for his efforts, the Plymouth Aero Club voted Delano as its 2020 Airman of the Year Monday.

Dennis Smith, head of the club’s Airman of the Year Committee, said Delano was the unanimous selection for the award for his work on the air show and in expanding membership.

“In an age when it’s difficult to get people to be involved in clubs and organizations, our club has done very well,” Smith said.

Delano has stepped down from his role as treasurer of the club, but will continue to help with next summer’s air show.

The club also announced Monday that Samantha Pena is this year’s winner of the club’s annual scholarship. Pena is studying aviation maintenance at the airport through courses offered by Cape Cod Community College.

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