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November 19, 2011 - Wings Over the Rockies Celebrates the Tuskegee Airmen

What: Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum held its annual Gala and auction Saturday, November 19, to raise money for its Spreading Wings youth outreach programs and to pay tribute to this year's Spreading Wings Award winners, the Tuskegee Airmen.

Where: Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum

When: Saturday November 19, 2011

Time: 5:00 p.m.

Mistress of Ceremonies: Amelia Earhart, Traffic Reporter 9News

Honoree(s): The Tuskegee Airmen

Presenting Sponsor(s): Ball Aerospace

Honorary Chairperson(s): Mayor Michael Hancock

President(s): President and CEO Greg Anderson

Invocation: John France

Speaker: David Taylor, Ball Aerospace; Gov. John Hickenlooper; Charles F Johnson, Producer of 'Red Tails'

Libations: Arta Tequila

Catering: Biscuits and Berries

Music: The Lionel Young Band

Auctioneer: Kevin Rutter

Menu: Salad of wild field greens, roasted beets, smoked marcona almonds and shallots, with a truffled grapefruit citronette. Dinner: Herbed chicken breast with sweet sausage, chestnut and fennel ragout. Herb-crusted flatiron steak with candied bacon and peppadew butter, or polenta and mushroom napolean. Dessert :a decadent mix of pastries and cakes.

Attire: Black tie optional

Hors D'Oeuvres:: Passed hors d'oeuvres consisting of crab cakes among others

Event Coordinator: Alexandra Yampolsky, Brynn Swanson

Board of Directors: CEO and President Greg Anderson, COO David Kerr. For the board membership or for information on how to help support Wings Over the rockies, visit the website at:

Blacktie Photos by: Bob Fontneau

 The Tuskagee Airmen
The Tuskagee Airmen

Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum held its annual gala and auction Saturday November 19 at the museum, saluting the 70th anniversary of the Tuskegee Airmen, who were honored with the museum's Spreading Wings Award. The Tuskegee Airmen, African American United States Army Air Forces pilots, flew and fought bravely during World War II, as members of the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group.

The evening begin with cocktails, hors d'ouvres, and the swinging sound of the Lionel Young Band.  Guests toured the travelling Tuskegee Airmen exhibit and browsed silent auction items as they sampled shots of Arta Tequila.  They were also invited to mingle with and meet the evening's guests of honor, the Tuskegee Airmen.

Guests were called to dinner by Mistress of Ceremonies Amelia Earhart, 9News Traffic Reporter, who began the evening's program by the USAFA Color Guard and Shades of Blue, dressed as the young Tuskegee Airmen, to deliver the Pledge of Allegiance.  Then John France gave the invocation. 

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock served as the Spreading Wings honorary chair and addressed the audience, speaking of the influence of the Tuskegee Airmen on his life.  He credited them with giving him the idea that he could do whatever he wanted, no matter how many people told him he couldn't.  He led a list of speakers paying tribute to the Airmen, including Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Ball Aerospace Pres/CEO David Taylor, and video tributes from broadcaster Robin Roberts and President Barack Obama.

Charles F. Johnson, Producer of 'Red Tails', the feature film (opening next month) recounting the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, then spoke of the importance of the telling of the Airmen's story and the tribulations and rewards of getting the film made. 

Earhart then took the stage again and introduced auctioneer Kevin Rutter, who led the crowd through spirited bidding on four items to help raise money for the museum's Spreading Wings youth outreach programs.  He also called for support of programs with donations that would be matched by Lucasfilms, Lockheed Martin, and Steve Strachan.

Wings Over the Rockies President and CEO Greg Anderson addressed the audience and discussed the upcoming museum expansion, on which plans are underway.  Anderson introduced the expansion advisory committee, made up of Jeff Puckett, Mark Van Tine, and Tony Mayer, who was thanked for his generous donation for the expansion.

Then came the highlight of the evening, the presentation of the 2011 Spreading Wings Award to the Tuskegee Airmen.  Young men from Shades of Blue and Mile High Flight portrayed, in costume, the young Airmen as each individual Tuskegee Airman was announced.  Then the real Tuskegee Airmen took the stage to massive applause from the crowd.  Mayor Hancock took the microphone and sang the praises of those groundbreaking heroes.

Gov. Hickenlooper and Mayor Hancock then presented medals to each of the Airmen individually, before presenting the Spreading Wings Award to the the group, represented by Colorado tuskegee Airmen Chapter President Marsha Mallory-Bennett and Col (Ret) Charles McGee.  Col. (Ret) Fitzroy 'Buck' Newsum then spoke to the crowd about what it was like to fly in the cace of all odds in Jim Crow America.  It was a night of inspiration and celebration of real American heroes. Tuskagee Airmen that were honored this evening were:

  • Aviation Cadet Randolph 'Randy' Edwards
  • LtCol James H Harvey III
  • Capt Samuel C Hunter
  • 2nd Lt Franklin Macon
  • Cpl Henry L Moore
  • LtCol John William Mosley Jr
  • Col Fitzroy 'Buck' Newsum
  • Col James E 'Jim' Randall
  • LtCol Marion Raymond Rodgers

For more information about Wings Over the Rockies, visit their website at:



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