June 21, 2009: Aviation Enthusiast Shares Love Of The Skies
Penny Hamilton Volunteers At Schools, Libraries
4:35 AM, Jul 3, 2009
High above Granby, Colo., is Lone Eagle Peak. You've probably seen it as you drive through Grand County, perhaps you've even hiked the mountain. But did you know it was named after famous aviator Charles Lindbergh? Everyone in Granby knows the town's brush with aviation fame, thanks to "Penny the Pilot." Her real name is Penny Hamilton, and she has spent the past 20 years visiting schools and libraries in Grand County talking about aviation. "I dress up like Amelia Earhart, because she is a famous aviator and I want to encourage young girls to fly," said Penny. Grand County Library Youth Services Director Tegan Davis said: "All of a sudden the kids have questions about planes, or who is Amelia Earhart, who's Charles Lindbergh?" Amelia Earhart was, of course, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Five years earlier to the day, Charles Lindbergh became the first person to fly across the Atlantic in the "Spirit of St. Louis." And before that he touched down in Granby. "Charles Lindbergh used to fly here. He would visit the Knight Ranch, which was very important in the early days of aviation. He was the banker who funded Lindbergh's flight," said Penny. Penny is a pilot herself, and never misses a chance to promote aviation or the town of Granby. A cancer survivor, she also spends countless hours helping that cause. As Stephanie Ralph with the Grand County Library put it: "She's not just following the curve - she sees what's needed and goes in there and tackles it." Penny adds: "I think volunteering - whatever you give - you get back many times." "Penny the Pilot," and now 7Everyday Hero Penny Hamilton would know.