INVESTMENT: “The act of putting money or effort into something to make a profit or achieve a result” – Dictionary definition.

We have all heard of investing money in stocks, bonds, real estate, collectables and so forth. The list is very long. In many cases the hopes are very high. This is one kind of investing. Another is the investment of a person’s time and efforts to achieve a goal…something done for a purpose other than a return of money, profits, cash or income.

We are allotted a certain amount of time on this earth. When we are younger the allotment of Time seems to be unending and unlimited. Because of this when we “waste time” it doesn’t really seem to matter…there will be more tomorrow!

With the passage of time we tend to consider how we spend our time with more thought and purpose. We take time for work to support our lives; time for fun and relaxation with friends and family; time to devote to “projects” that just make us feel good about ourselves. Gardening, painting, photography, nature study, church and social groups all vie for our time. We become more selective in how our time is ‘invested’.

Last year, 2018, those who volunteered to give their time and efforts to the PBY – Naval Air Museum (and the PBYMF) contributed over 18,000 hours of effort. At current wage scales that would be equivalent to nearly $550,000 in earnings. State of Washington volunteer hours are calculated at an average of $30.50/hour in value, which includes all personnel. It is said that “many hands make the job easier” and it is especially true with our Museum.

We have cashiers, accessioning personnel, office staff, committee members (many of those!), marketing and communications helpers, display staff, financial personnel, aircraft and other maintenance and preservation workers and the list goes on. All are volunteers…no wages paid. All are investing their time, efforts and knowledge to make our Museum a success; and, a success it is. As of this writing there is no museum of its kind anywhere in our vicinity.

The Museum of Flight in Seattle is huge…and diversified to nearly every kind of aircraft imaginable. The museums at Paine Field and Skagit County Airport attract visitors for diversified reasons and they, too, are very interesting and well-attended.

We are the only Naval Air Museum in the area, the State or the Region. Our efforts are dedicated to remembering, saving and re-telling the history of Naval aviation and especially as it pertains to those who built and served at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. Our goals are expanding constantly and, with a new museum planned for the future, in a few years our charter will expand as well. It is our goal to become the Pacific Northwest Naval Air Museum with artifacts, equipment, aircraft, uniforms, documents and all the facilities of a top-flight (no pun) learning and history center. A big goal, indeed.

Only with our cadre of dedicated volunteers will we achieve that goal. We cannot do it without you. Your “Investment” of time and effort will continue to gain the admiration of our community and our visitors. Each single hour may not seem like much at the time, but when combined with others it spells success.

We will all be amazed at what this investment of time and effort will bring in the coming months and years.