Halvorsen Avi­a­tion Cen­ter

Serve Daily - - INSIDE - By Ed Helmick

SPAN­ISH FORK — Satur­day morn­ing, May 5, a “Kick­off Cel­e­bra­tion” for the Civil Air Pa­trol’s Gail Halvorsen Avi­a­tion Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­ter was held at the Span­ish Fork Air­port. Gail Halvorsen is a lo­cal res­i­dent who gained fame as the “Berlin Candy Bomber” drop­ping candy bars with minia­ture para­chutes dur­ing the Berlin air­lift from Septem­ber 1948 to May 1949. The con­cept of rais­ing money for a trib­ute mu­seum, avi­a­tion ed­u­ca­tion cen­ter, and CAP han­gar has ma­tured into a se­ri­ous project un­der the guid­ance of com­mu­nity re­la­tions co­or­di­na­tor An­gela David­son. A par­cel of land at the en­trance to the air­port has been se­cured with ground­break­ing planned for Oc­to­ber 13. This kick­off cel­e­bra­tion, one of many fundrais­ing projects, was timely and a great suc­cess.

The event or­ga­niz­ers pro­moted this “kick­off cel­e­bra­tion” with a few posters around town and their Face­book page and they were sur­prised at the crowd of more than an es­ti­mated 1,500 peo­ple that turned out. In ad­di­tion to 97-year-old Gail Halvorsen, his pi­lot grand­son was present, along with Sen­a­tor Mike Lee, State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive La Var Chris­tensen, and Span­ish Fork Mayor Steve Leif­son. Every­one kept their speeches short to get on with the main event of the morn­ing. Gail Halvorsen and Sen­a­tor Lee went up in a he­li­copter and in four passes dropped 500 Her­shey Bars dan­gling un­der small white para­chutes for the kids in the crowd. The candy bars landed in the field where the Gail Halvorsen Mu­seum and Avi­a­tion Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­ter will be built. It was a pretty amaz­ing sight.

Fundrais­ing is not com­pleted and monthly events will con­tinue. If you would like to learn more and con­trib­ute to the Gail Halvorsen Avi­a­tion Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­ter please check out their Face­book page and web­site, www.thecan­dy­bomber.org.

Photo: Ed Helmick

A crowd watches candy drop for the kids at the Halvorsen Avi­a­tion Ed­u­catino cen­ter.

Photo: Ed Helmick

Col. Gail Halvorsen, USAF Ret.

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