LACON — The Lacon man who practically personified the Marshall County Airport for half a century will be remembered in a new way Sunday at the 52nd annual Father's Day Fly-in/Drive-in Breakfast.

"We are excited to be announcing the first two recipients of the Charlie Allen Memorial Young Pilot Scholarship at this year's breakfast," said Jim Fassino, president of the pilots' organization that sponsors the event.

The breakfast will be from 7 to 11:30 a.m. at the county-owned facility, which is located along Illinois Route 17 just east of town.

Allen, a prominent Lacon businessman, served as chairman of the airport's governing board from 1966 until his death last year at the age of 84. He was known as a tireless and selfless promoter of general aviation and Marshall County, whose frequent trips to Springfield and other airport business matters were undertaken at his own expense.

"It was like he lobbied for the Marshall County Airport on his own dime," local attorney and pilot Patrick Murphy, who succeeded Allen as airport board president, said after his death "He saw that as his way to help the community, and he just did everything."

Allen also famously shunned public acclaim or recognition, so he probably would not approve of having his name attached to the scholarship started by the Marshall County Flyers Inc., Fassino observed. But he definitely would approve of the program's goal of introducing young people to aviation, Fassino added.

"He was a real champion of private aviation, and anything that brought more people to appreciate it would be right in his wheelhouse," Fassino said.

Two high school students who live in Marshall County have been chosen to receive the scholarships after an application process that included four finalists being interviewed by a committee. They'll receive the awards at around 9:30 a.m., Fassino said.

"They intend to be here with their parents," he said. "We want to bring them up in front of the group, and perhaps these kids will talk a little about why they're interested in aviation."

The students were doing well academically and expressed interest in aviation but have not had prior training or experience, Fassino said. The scholarships will provide both ground and flight instruction that could prepare them for a big step.

"It ought to get them right up to the point where they could solo," Fassino explained. "Then, if there's enough interest, they'd have to continue on their own."

The program is being funded by the breakfast proceeds, but leaders of the pilots' group hope that greater familiarity will lead to donations as well. Students who have good experiences with the program could help further the goal of providing more in the future, Fassino indicated.

"We're hoping that they will be ambassadors," he said.

Sunday's breakfast will offer a hearty meal of pancakes, sausage, and eggs for donations of $7 for adults and $4 for children. Other attractions will include airplane and helicopter rides, a large display of radio-controlled model aircraft, and face painting for the kids in a crowd that has been numbering around 1,500 in recent years.