Decision on Aviation Hall of Fame ceremony delayed


A top state leader and Dayton aviation boosters lobbied National Aviation Hall of Fame leaders Thursday to keep a decades-old enshrinement ceremony in Dayton instead of considering moving it out of state.

The black-tie event, dubbed “Oscars night in aviation,” has lost money in recent years and organizers have considered relocating the enshrinement of aviation notables to a new locale out of state, organizers have said. A decision, expected Thursday, was postponed until Dec. 15.

Fort Worth, Texas, is a potential site where the enshrinement ceremony could move, according to Tony Sculimbrene, executive director of the National Aviation Heritage Alliance.

“That bullet has been dodged for at least the next two weeks,” he said.

Meeting for four hours behind closed doors Thursday in what was described as an emotional meeting, National Aviation Hall of Fame leaders decided to explore keeping the yearly enshrinement ceremony of inductees at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson.

They also want to see what financial support the Dayton region and Ohio will offer to defray the cost of the black-tie event, according to Ron Kaplan, enshrinement director.

The ceremony has faced lackluster financial support locally, and sponsorships and ticket sales in recent years have failed to cover costs, organizers have said.

Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger called the Hall of Fame trustees during the board meeting Thursday to lobby to keep the enshrinement in Dayton.

“I offered to help wherever I can. I didn’t offer to get into any kind of state assistance, specifically taxpayer dollars exclusively, but definitely whatever I can lend my voice and help to support their event, I told them we would do that,” he said in an interview with this newspaper, adding a number of federal and state lawmakers were ready to help.

State Rep. Rick Perales, R-Beavercreek, who said he was in the room with Rosenberger when he made the call, said moving the enshrinement was “unacceptable.”

“We need this to stay here,” Perales said in a phone interview. “This is the birthplace of aviation and the enshrinement belongs here at the (Air Force) museum and we need to come together to make sure this happens.”

Trustees were asked to slow down a final decision, he said.

“Speaker Rosenberger dropped everything on his calendar to make sure they understood that there’s nothing more important (and) that we cannot and will not lose the enshrinement ceremony,” Perales said. “Sure, it could happen, but it’s not going to happen without a fight.”

The induction ceremony, a who’s who of aerospace legends, has remained in Dayton since it launched in 1962.

For a year, NAHF trustees have reviewed possible locations where the enshrinement might relocate, Kaplan said.

“There was a number of communities that were explored and several were contracted and the decision on (Dec. 15) will be to stay here or go to one of those welcoming communities,” he said.

Fort Worth Alliance Air Show organizers have expressed interest in a one-time NAHF enshrinement ceremony. “It’s all very early, very preliminary and nothing is confirmed at all,” air show spokesman Randy E. Pruett said Thursday. The Texas air show is scheduled in October.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Woman hurt after falling down escalator at Dayton airport
Woman hurt after falling down escalator at Dayton airport

An elderly woman was reportedly injured after falling down an escalator at the Dayton International Airport.    A 70-year-old Lima resident suffered lacerations to her right leg after losing her footing at the top of the concourse escalator early Monday morning, according to a police report. The woman fell down most of the length of the down...
Old-fashioned candy shop to open in heart of Oakwood
Old-fashioned candy shop to open in heart of Oakwood

An old-fashioned candy shop will open in the heart of Oakwood next month, its owner told this media outlet. Katherine Wright, a Kettering resident, is working to open The Oakwood Candy Shoppe at 2541 Far Hills Ave. in Oakwood sometime in August. She said there is no set date for the opening, and she is still working with the county to secure permits...
Springfield man accused of fighting with deputy
Springfield man accused of fighting with deputy

Clark County jailers alleged a man fought with deputies and wouldn’t obey their commands. Brooks Nawman, 33, was in the Clark County Jail on Sunday, July 23, on a charge of obstruction when he allegedly began kicking the window to his cell. CRIME: Springfield woman accused of driving drunk, crashing SUV with 4 kids “As Deputy Moses Young...
Identity sought of woman who used stolen credit card
Identity sought of woman who used stolen credit card

Centerville police are asking for help to identify a woman who used a stolen credit card at a Fifth Third Bank ATM in June.  The victim’s credit card was used at a Fifth Third Bank ATM at 2255 Shiloh Springs Road in Trotwood around 10:18 a.m. on June 16, Centerville police said in a media release.  Police describe the suspect as a black...
Joint investigations net drug, weapons arrests in Dayton
Joint investigations net drug, weapons arrests in Dayton

Dayton police made several drug and gun arrests recently.  Three recent investigations have concluded with arrests.  On June 28, Julian Valentine and Dashawn Smedley were arrested.  Valentine had felony warrants and was reportedly found to be in possession of a stolen firearm and fentanyl, according to Dayton police. Smedley was arrested...
More Stories