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Memorial Day Impromptu Fun Fly - Event Coverage

An event was held in honor of a friend to many of us and the hobby. Casie Dussia provided photos and thoughts on this tribute to Big D.

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In Honor of Big D, aka Uncle D

Here is an article from Casie Dussia about a great event put on by Greg and Jenni Alderman. The event honored one of our own. Casie tells us all about it...

John, Jase and I wrapped up work and school Friday and headed to Muncie to the Memorial Day Impromptu Fun Fly Get Together at AMA. Hosted by Greg and Jenni Alderman, the main purpose of this event was to honor Darrell Bell, aka Big D, aka Uncle D.

Money raised at and for this event will go towards an AMA Commemorative Walk of Fame brick in his memory. That money then goes toward the AMA Foundation. All contributors will be recognized as donors in Model Aviation magazine. Any additional money left after the brick is purchased will be donated to Camp AMA, since at least four of D's "nephews" have helped or instructed the youth since its beginning.

That money will help with equipment, supplies, and other misc. camp expenses. Big D loved seeing the youth come up in the hobby. Jenni reported today that nearly $2,500 in donations was raised this weekend! This will cover Darrell’s commemorative brick and a healthy donation to Camp AMA. Because there is so much extra, some will also be donated to the scholarship fund, most likely being utilized for The Ryan Sherrow Scholarship, which was started in memory of a youth member.

To know Big D was to love Big D. That beautiful bright smile and positive charismatic personality was 2nd to none. After meeting his Mama Mary and Sister Velda this weekend, I now see that it runs in the family. We shared a ton of laughs with Mary and Velda, and there were a few tears mixed in as well. Velda is a hoot and based on some of the hilarious childhood stories she shared, Mama Mary had her hands full when raising those two! We all felt Darrell’s presence and his family fit right into our RC family as if they had known us all forever.

Jenni shared a message she received from Darrell’s sister after they left: "We are still standing on that cloud of love that we received yesterday. We are grateful to you all for everything!!! If I had ten thousand tongues I could not thank you guys enough! Thank you thank you thank you!!!! Love y'all to life!!!”Big D’s love for people and joy for life is still living here on Earth

Greg and Jenni's passion passion for this hobby starts with their love for the people in the hobby. They put on a fun and relaxing event, and the food...so much food! It was delicious and plentiful all weekend long.

Greg and Jenni, you out did yourselves, and Big D was as lucky to have you as friends as you were to have him as a friend,

On behalf of Greg, Jenni, and Big D’s family, we want to thank the sponsors who donated to this event:

  • Extreme Flight
  • Castle Creations,
  • XPert Servos
  • Horizon Hobby
  • Falcon Propellers
  • Pulse Battery
  • Toys Forever Hobby Shop.

Thank you to John Homman, Eric Joy, and Craig Gregory for bringing the airplane to raffle off and to Greg for donating the battery checkers, hats, and the Stearman airplane. Thank you to AMA for donating the remaining Joe Nall 5K shirts to Roger Seward for donating the raffle tumbler. A huge appreciation goes out to all who attended and/or donated and congratulations to all of the raffle winners!

Last edited by Jim T. Graham; 05-30-2017 at 10:55 AM..
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Old 05-30-2017, 10:37 AM
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Great stuff! Thanks for putting this on.
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Old 05-30-2017, 10:40 AM
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Jenni Alderman
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Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to Casie and Flying Giants!

We will still take donations until the end of the day Wednesday, so if there is anyone else who wishes to donate, please let me know!
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Old 05-30-2017, 09:45 PM
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Awesome to see him remembered. Great article. Greg, Jenni, Casie, John and Jase... Jim/FG... very nice of you all to share and to celebrate Big D's life. He is missed.

Thanks again
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Last edited by rolling circle; 05-31-2017 at 12:38 AM.
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Old 05-31-2017, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rolling circle View Post
Awesome to see him remembered. Great article. Greg, Jenni, Casie, John and Jase... Jim/FG... very nice of you all to share and to celebrate Big D's life. He is missed.

Thanks again
Thank you, Rolling Circle! We miss him very much as well.

We raised a total of $2,699 (more if any donations come in by the end of the day today). As of now, $1,000 will go toward the brick to go into the Walk of Fame in front of AMA Headquarters; $849.50 each will go to Camp AMA and the Ryan Sherrow Memorial Scholarship Fund. Couldn't be happier with the results going back to AMA.
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Old 05-31-2017, 06:55 AM
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As Darrell's mom and sister were leaving on Saturday, we took them by the walk to see where the brick would go. I think this will most likely be what we put on the brick:

In Memory of
Darrell L. Bell
"Big D"
"What's Good,
Nephew?"

That was his saying that he said to all of his nephews when greeting them, so I think it's the only appropriate one to use. I think he wouldn't want the fan fare, but would secretly be pleased.

I've spoken to Mandee from the AMA Foundation, and it sounds like because these are donations that did not come directly into AMA individually and it would be a hassle to input them all into the database individually, we may not be able to list the individual names on the donations list in the magazine. It would, however, go in as "Friends of Darrell L. Bell," or "In Memory of Darrell L. Bell," I believe. Will know more once I turn the checks over to her.
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Old 05-31-2017, 07:51 AM
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Thanks Casie and F/G for the great pictures and article.
Thanks Jenni and Greg for the great event for a great cause. I'm sure I'm Speaking for all who attended. Thanks for the hard work you both put in and also the great food you provided for all the hungry attendees. I'm old fashioned enough to still believe that nothing brings people together better then sitting down at the dinner table.
You can count me in for next year.
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Old 05-31-2017, 10:45 AM
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Thanks Casie for your photos looks like a great event
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Old 05-31-2017, 11:18 AM
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Looks like you guys had a great time... Thanks for sharing the pics Casie.
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Old 05-31-2017, 12:26 PM
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I knew Big D from flying on 8 mile (Detroit). He was instrumental in helping me get started in the hobby. I remember coming to the field with a brand new Corsair and he looked and laughed at me then told me all about the Apprentice. I got it and have loved the hobby ever since. He was also instrumental in me getting several other planes.

Just a real cool dude. I am one of his "nephews"! He is greatly missed. Nice event and thanks for the pics.


Tony
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Old 05-31-2017, 12:35 PM
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I love hearing about the stories of how he helped people in the hobby! Thank you!
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Old 06-01-2017, 06:51 AM
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Turning in checks this morning. We raised a total of $2,720! $1,000 will go toward the Walk of Fame brick, $860 will go to the Education Fund and tagged for Camp AMA, and $860 will go to the Scholarship fund tagged for the Ryan Sherrow Memorial Scholarship. Thank you all so much!

The brick will say:
In Memory of
Darrell L. Bell
Big D
"What's Good,
Nephew?"

We were limited on both lines and characters for the brick, so took out his birth/death dates ... but in my opinion, he was and will always be larger than life, so why put dates on that?

Thank you all for everything. We are blessed to call everyone family and grateful to be involved in such a giving community.
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Old 06-01-2017, 09:23 AM
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Wow, that is great guys....wish I could have attended, but my youngest daughter graduated high school this past weekend.

Jenni, I finally figured out your screen name.....farmers daughter!
Jeff
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Old 06-01-2017, 09:40 AM
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Wow, truly awesome to hear see Big D not only remembered but that his memory still generates so much good will and kindness that it will help take care of some kids with fun, flying and education. Very well done you guys.

I was wondering what that screen name could be, nice job Jeff.
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