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Wyoming airpark residents donate to local community

Coordinated by Steven Funk, an early developer at the airport, the fund will be distributed among the local fire department, emergency medical services, new Alpine hospital, library, and a new skating rink. The donation was provided by The Alpine Airpark/Draper Family Community Support Fund, which was named in honor of Rex Draper—a longtime friend of the airport and well-known mechanic whose wife, Julie, recently died.

To celebrate the fundraising, residents, the Star Valley community, and public officials attended a Halloween-themed event and check presentation ceremony at Funk’s residential development at the airpark, The Refuge Air Ranch, on October 31. The event included static displays of aircraft and firetrucks, and locals were invited to tour The Refuge Air Ranch while mingling with local representatives.

Alpine community members gathered at the Alpine Airpark on October 31 for a Halloween event and perused aircraft on display. The residential airpark raised more than $200,000 for the local fire department, emergency medical services, new Alpine hospital, library, and a new skating rink. Photo by Jenna Bradford.

Mayor Kennis Lutz and state Sen. Dan Dockstader were also on hand to deliver remarks. Dockstader said, “When communities help communities, we all benefit. We are pleased that our local aviators have brought so much to the region, adding their very special form of fun to Wyoming’s vast array of recreation options. In times when our state is anticipating cuts that may affect our local government funding, this support is crucial to helping our communities maintain important emergency services and community facilities such as the Alpine Library and the new Alpine hospital. This support contributes so very much to the families in this community.”

AOPA President Mark Baker commended the actions of residents in Alpine, saying, “This is a great example of a general aviation community spreading goodwill. Alpine Airpark is a huge asset for its local community, and I hope other communities take notice of how their local airports contribute to the well-being for all.”

The Alpine Airpark community and its 5,800-foot runway continues to drive the region’s overall growth and development. Nestled in the Star Valley, just 35 miles from world-renowned Jackson Hole, this pilot’s paradise has grown into a premier fly-in residential spot. With more than 62 hangar homes and 18 stand-alone hangars, Alpine is fully self-sufficient, takes no tax dollars or Airport Improvement Program grants from the FAA, and has an FBO and user-friendly fuel farm.

Airpark and community residents attended a Halloween-themed event and ceremony for the airport to present the donation check. This little mermaid might just trade her tail for some helicopter lessons. Photo by Jenna Bradford.

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