Ever hang out with an alligator?

I was at lunch the other day with my older sister. It is somewhat of a joke in our family that she always forgets her purse, or as we say “she has alligator arms.” You know the type. They are the person that allows the check to lay in the center of the table waiting for someone else to pick it up. Of course someone usually does, and in the case of my sister I just assume that someone will be me. In any event we are fortunate here at the RAF to only have a few folks with alligator arms. Most of our people chip in what they can, when they can, and don’t expect others to cover for them.

However, just like those folks who rarely offer to pick up the lunch or bar tab, or chip in for gas, there are some out there that simply don’t seem to understand that allowing someone else to pay the way all the time is just not cool.  In a past column I spoke about how this organization is based on friends and friendship. A friend with alligator arms isn’t a true friend because they are not contributing their fair share. Here at the RAF we do not stratify our donors by the amount of money they do, or do not give. However we realize there are some that just don’t ever want to pitch in. What is always a challenge is to attempt to figure out if someone has just forgotten that we all need to help, or are they comfortable simply not contributing while the rest of you do. This idea of saving some of the special backcountry places takes as many of us as we can muster up. We do like to talk to you. We like to hear how we are doing, and many of you tell us. Keep that up please as it makes us better.

But, here in our 20th year we hope we have demonstrated to you that we are attempting to do valuable work. Many of you have rewarded the RAF community with your generosity. For those of you who have yet to help out financially I hope you might reach out to us to let us know what we can do to earn that support.

So hope you don’t see this as an assault on those that choose not to give, but rather we are just hoping to encourage some of the alligators to step up and grow those arms so we can soldier on and do more.

  – John McKenna, RAF Chairman

Submitted on February 9, 2023.


  1. Steve Maus on February 13, 2023 at 2:39 pm

    John… spot on…. Novel idea: next time a grateful passenger or fellow aviator says ‘let me pitch in on the 100LL’ say ‘THANKS!, why don’t you just make the check out to The RAF” That will make three parties happy, you, your grateful passenger, and The RAF! It might just let you express a pet desire such as a picnic table or a fire ring at your favorite backcountry strip!

    • Tricia on February 18, 2023 at 11:12 am

      Steve, That is a great idea! Thanks for thinking of it and thank you for all your support.

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