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Taking Flight Gala Breaks Records!

2017 Taking Flight Gala Waltrip Hangar

In the most highly-attended gala in Lone Star Flight Museum history, more than 900 guests joined the Museum’s Board of Directors and Co-Chairs Lisa & Jerry Simon and Cathy & Joe Cleary for a black-tie and military mess dress gala celebrating four new inductees to the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame as well as inaugurate Houston’s new $38 million aviation history and STEM museum set to open THIS Labor Day Weekend. Historic aircraft, specifically the museum’s P-47 Thunderbolt and T-6 Texan, provided the evening’s unique backdrop which was held in in the museum’s new 130,000 square foot facility at Ellington Airport.

The pre-event sponsorships, ticket sales and donations brought in more than $700,000 - the paddles up and auction combined for a windfall of $400,000 making this a $1.1 million event! After an unforgettable evening, each guest left the event with a complimentary one-year membership to the Lone Star Flight Museum.

Master of Ceremonies, Don Nelson USAF and ABC-13 news veteran lead a full program featuring the Presentation of Colors by five branches of the Armed Forces, National Anthem by Nicholas Conners, and a “Salute to the Armed Forces” medley by the Sanctuary Choir of Clear Lake United Methodist Church.

Chairman of the Texas Historical Commission and CEO of Silver Eagle Distributors John Nau conducted the induction ceremony for the four new members of the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame: President George W. Bush, Major General Benjamin D. Foulois (1879-1967), Albert W. “Al” Mooney (1906- 1986), and 111th Aero Squadron. Each inductee or a representative was presented with a medallion and eagle sculpture. President George W. Bush provided a video greeting to attendees thanking them for the honor.

Following the program, guests continued the celebration with entertainment by Tony and Emmy nominated Michael Cavanaugh and were the first to experience the $1 million Aviation Learning Center (ALC), a simulator-based S.T.E.M. learning experience.

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