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November 11, 2006 - Chuck Yeager Aptly Honored on Veteran's Day

What: Spreading Wings Gala

Where: Wings Over the Rockies

When: November 11th, 2006

Time: 6:00PM

Ticket Prices: $150 and up

Beneficiary: Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum

Master of Ceremonies: Nick Carter, Channel 9News

Gala Chairperson(s): Peter Coors

Committee Members: George F. "Rick" Adam, Greg Anderson, Rob Atherton, Louis Bansback III, Bruce Benson, Walter Berger, Ernie Blake, Sharon Magness Blake, Ralph Christie, Jack Cronin, David Dickerson, Cort Dietler, David Ebershoff, Jo Farrell, Charlie Gallagher, Kevin Hougen, Walt Imhoff, Charlie Johnson, Lindsay Kough, Lynn Krogh, Peter Luce, Ethan Martin, Dick Monfort, Scott Nycum, Robert Olislagers, John Pritzlaff, Jeff Puckett, Scott Reiman, Dick Robinson, Darell Schmidt, Re Schmidt, Harold Smethills, Terry Stevinson, Bob Sweeney, Joe Thibodeau, Emily Warner, Pat Wiesner, Carl Williams, and John Zayac

President(s): Greg Anderson

Catering: Epicurean Catering

Entertainment: Air Force Academy Show Choir

Sponsors: Gold Sponsors: Carl & Lisa Williams, Pat & Janet Wiesner, Coors Brewing Company, Larry Romrell, Jeppesen, ATG, John Pritzlaff
Silver Sponsors: X-Jet, Jack Cronin, Peter & Betsy Luce, Snell & Wilmer L.L.P., Terry Stevinson (2), CH2M Hill (2), First Bank of Denver, Pinnacol Assurance, Wells Fargo, TransMontaigne, Al Meiklejohn, Eugene & Judith Dessel, Don Estey, Jack Thompson, Saunders Construction, Gallagher Family Foundation, Aviation Sales, Inc., Anna & John J. Sie Foundation, Ed McVaney
Bronze Sponsors: Adam Aircraft (5), ATG, Atlantic Trust, Benson Minerals, Brown & Brown Insurance, Carabou Ranch, Centennial Airport (2), Centennial InterPort, Chowdry Family Foundation, Colonel & Mrs. Smith, David Ebershoff & Joseph H. Thibodeau P.C., Denver JetCenter Inc., Emily Warner & Dennis Koontz, International Jet Aviation Services (2), JP Morgan Private Ban, klipp, Lockheed Martin, Lowry Redevelopment Authority, Robinson Dairy, SpaceDev, Sterling Ranch, LLC, Terry Stevinson (3), The Farrell Group, The Thunder Foundation, Timothy Hoiles, Transwestern Commercial Services
Sponsors: X-Jet, International Jet Aviation Services, Signature Flight Support, and Terry Stevinson

Auctioneer: Auction & Event Solutions, Inc.

Menu: Vegetable chopped salad with black shrimp, short rib smoke stack with Orzo pasta, garlic olive oil and basil, Epicurean grilled vegetables, red velvet cake

Attendance: 800+

Attire: Evening, business formal or cocktail

Hors D'Oeuvres:: petite lamb chops, lobster macaroni and cheese, petite chili rellenos, petite gourmet veal meat loaf, grilled chicken salad tartlets, seafood buffet

Blacktie Photos by: Chelsea Wyatt

 Pete and Marilyn Coors, left, and Chris Jensen and Dorothy Coats
Pete and Marilyn Coors, left, and Chris Jensen and Dorothy Coats

by Chelsea Wyatt

By far, one of the best ways to spend Veterans Day in Colorado is at the place honoring veterans, the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum. The key honoree for the evening was General Chuck Yeager, a man who has had an incredible career in the United States Air Force. In accepting this year's Spreading Wings award, General Yeager had many educational stories and great encouragement for the next generation of America's pilots.

The museum honors American troops, past and present, such as this distinguished General, and sends a message to encourage today's youth to pursue math and science, so that they may one day be the U.S.'s next distinguished pilots. The evening's dinner party was set inside a labyrinth of aircraft from many points in U.S. history. Many of the attendees were having a wonderful time wandering among the planes of all shapes and sizes. A few of them were even set up for dinner guests to climb up into and remember what it was like to sit at the controls. But these controls not only delight those who have already flown, but up and coming pilots as well.

The Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum is dedicated to being the unifying force and catalyst in engaging students of all ages in mathematics and science through the inspiration of aerospace. The event recognized several students who are doing exceptionally well in their math and science classes. Several of these students got to escort distinguished veterans and the chairman of the event, Pete Coors, on stage. They also got to star in a movie telling the crowd what the Air and Space Museum is really about.

Each of the students was very hopeful for the future, issuing "what if" statements. One student's "what if" was a perfect depiction of the non-profit's vision: "What if we could spread our wings and fly like a bird?" Pete Coors, the chairman of the event, took this a step further, wondering "What if every student loved math and science and had the opportunity to grow up and be a world-class pilot?" This is what the organization is so ambitiously trying to achieve. And they are well on their way. The Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum is currently supporting customized fantasy flight programs, summer camps for kids, Science of Flight kits to encourage understanding, "Project Pilot" online learning, aero scholars, and Wild Blue Wonders. This event not only supports these projects, but will also allow the group to pursue a planned $6 million worth of improvements! These include mezzanines which will turn the museum into a real showplace of aerospace and an historic landmark, plus an additional 1,000 sq.ft. facility. This group really is taking part in promoting tomorrow’s aviation wonders, and ensuring that another group of American children can grow up thinking "If that American pilot G.I. Chuck Yeager can fly, why can't I?"

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