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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedGathering of Eagles raises $2.1 million

EAA Chairman/President Tom Poberezny arriving on stage Peter Pan-like - a flying style he could never manage with his old aerobatic team, the Eagles.

A savvy bidder left Thursday night's annual Gathering of Eagles dinner with the keys to a singular Ford Mustang, while more than 130 other winning bidders departed with items of their own dreams and aspirations. The end result was more than $2.1 million raised in support of the EAA Young Eagles program and other association efforts to inspire young people to become the engineers, aviators, astronauts, scientists, innovators…the aviation pioneers of tomorrow.

The gala, hosted by Gathering Chairman Jack Pelton of Cessna, featured the aerial exploits of EAA Chairman/President Tom Poberezny arriving on stage Peter Pan-like-a flying style he could never manage with his old aerobatic team, the Eagles.

The peak of the evening's bidding surrounded the latest in Ford Motor Company's custom creations, this year the SR-71 Mustang, created in collaboration with speed merchants Carroll Shelby and Jack Roush. Going, going, gone at $375,000, the likes of this Mustang will not be seen again.

Other distinctive items sold at the auction included a trip to Shanghai to pick up a new electrically powered Yuneec e-Spyder, some hangar flying with Harrison Ford, a DC-2 flight with Clay Lacy, First Officer Jeffrey Skiles' flight bag from Flight 1549, a five-day hang glider-aerobatics course, and use of Red 5 throughout AirVenture 2011.

More than 130 items went off the auction block, but for many the main attraction was the opportunity to participate in a worthy cause, enjoy an excellent evening with friends, and meet with fellow aviators like actors Kurt Russell and Treat Williams and sports legends Ken Griffey Jr. and Thurman Thomas.

The beneficiaries will be the thousands of future aviators who, thanks to the generosity of bidders and donors alike, will get their chance for a life in aviation.

FUTURE AIRVENTURE DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3; 2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30
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