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AKA Annual Awards

These are the highest awards given by the our association, recognizing kitefliers who have made significant and inspirational contributions to the AKA and kiting in general.  Many of these individuals have helped to shape the face of kiting in North America and around the world.

Special Recognition:

Steve Edeiken Kiteflier of the Year Award
Robert M Ingraham Volunteer of the Year Award
Lee Toy Kite Artist of the Year Award

Presidential Awards:

Volunteer of the Year
Regional Director of the Year
Kite Club of the Year

People’s Choice:

Click here to view winners in this category

You can browse by specific award above, or browse all special recognition award recipients below.


2013 – Ray Bethell

Nomination letter:  This nomination for the Edeiken Award is long overdue. But our nominee is as deserving today as he may have been five, ten, or 15 years ago. We are endorsing for AKA’s highest honor, the consummate global kiting ambassador. He has certainly traveled the world. He is quick to share a warm smile […]


2013 – Kay Buesing

Nomination letter: We would like to nominate an individual who we think is, beyond words, deserving of this prestigious award. This is a person who has given a lifetime of love, effort, and perseverance to the American Kitefliers Association and to kiting world, who has bonded kiting world wide, who launched and nurtured a dream into reality for […]


2013 – Deb Cooley

Nomination letter: We had a hard time finding just the right award to attribute to Deb Cooley because as we read the qualifications over and over she just fit all categories of all three awards. We finally settled on the Lee Toy Award because Deb has a special place in her heart for Lee and we […]


2012 – Richard & Marti Dermer

Nomination letter: I have long been impressed by the description of the primary Edeiken Award qualifications. “The Kiteflier of the Year will be a person who, during their lifetime, will have shown friendly, loving, fair, and even-handed concern for people in general, but kitefliers in particular.” While most kiters exhibit these qualities, some of our […]


2012 – George Emmons

Nomination letter: The Ingraham Award is used to recognize people for their long term support for the American Kitefliers Association and its goals. The efforts on behalf of the AKA by recent honorees have been very visible in their nature with most AKA members aware of the contributions that have been made. Our nominee is […]


2012 – Robert Brasington

Nomination letter: Robert Brasington’s love of architecture and nature are the foundation for his designs and keen use of color gradients resulting in a recognizable, unique and innovative style.  He has designed and produced literally hundreds of different kites.  Currently producing over 50 different kites, with seemingly endless color combinations.  He also does commission work, […]


2011 – Cliff Quinn

Notification letter: Cliff became a member of the AKA in 1992. His first convention was at Wildwood New Jersey in 1996. After being hooked into kite flying, Cliff asked his wife to sew a kite or two for him. She did and then told him to learn to sew. He did and now is an avid kite maker […]


2011 – Meg Albers

Nomination letter: The Edeiken award has been presented in the past, to kiters who contributed to our community by traveling on cultural exchanges, writing, organizing events, teaching, researching our kite history, and facilitating non-profits to promote or preserve kiting. Our nominee has done all of these things and more. Our nominee has traveled to kite […]


2011 – Mikio Toki

Nomination letter: The first time we met Mikio was on the beaches of Washington State. He had the most magnificent kite in the air and was talking to a friend of ours. We were introduced and he treated us as long time friends. We talked, or more accurately, he talked and we listened attentively. He […]


2010 – Mel Hickman

Nomination letter: The criteria for the Robert Ingraham Award states that the award should go to: Kitefliers, who, during their lifetime career in kiting, have exemplified outstanding volunteerism and service to the American Kitefliers Association, and, who, in the true spirit of Robert Ingraham, have given unselfishly of their time to help the AKA and promote […]