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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.


2015 – Bobby Stanfield

Nomination letter: This nominee’s innovative designs have been admired world wide and have inspired many people to build on his contribution. From his methodical cleaness of design to his innovative contribution of connectors, this nominee has given the kite world a plethora of ideas to play with. His connectors alone have inspired many to use […]


2015 – Phil Broder

Nomination letter: Phil first became interested in kites in 1993, when he drove past the first Chicago Sport Kite Festival and thought it looked interesting. He stopped and talked to a guy who turned out to be Jim Miller, and the rest is history. He started off flying sport kites and competed heavily through 1998, […]


2015 – Kathy Goodwind

Nomination letter: For nearly 4 decades, this nominee has built a world-wide reputation as a designer, manufacturer and retailer of kites. This nominee first got her introduction to kiting by attending a kite festival in the mid-1970s. Soon after she started making kites under the moniker of Suspended Elevations and then opened Seattle’s Gasworks Park […]


2014 – Christian Baden Powell

Nomination letter: Lee Toy – the name carries the creativity, the enthusiasm, and the sheer joy of life that Leland wore and shared during his much- too-short life. To do anything in his name requires one’s very deep consideration, a direct intention, and a respect to his path – and to his passion. He’s truly […]


2014 – Archie Stewart

Nomination letter:   We would like to nominate Archie Stewart for The Steve Edeiken Memorial Kiteflier of the Year Award. Since retiring from a career in telecommunications, Archie has devoted this phase of his life to introducing kite flying and the joy of making a kite to as many kids and adults as he can […]


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 […]