Raffle of vintage plane benefits Gilford youth aviation program
GILFORD - Aviators from many generations watched as a World War II veteran and former prisoner of war drew the winning raffle ticket for a vintage airplane, a 1966 Cessna 172G valued near $40,000.
The winner of the plane was a Florida woman, Jane Williams, who was not present as retired Col. Robert W. Fortman of Pembroke drew her ticket.
But the real winners were young people in the Lakes Region that take part in one of many programs sponsored by WinnAero, a group started by a handful of area aviation enthusiasts almost three years ago with the goal of improving Lakes Region students' learning in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
WinnAero works with students at the Huot Technical Center at Laconia High School and ran its second summer Ace Academy program aimed at drawing more young people into aviation.
"Our goal is to help our students grow in the (science, technology, engineering and math) areas, because we trail the rest of the world in those areas," said WinnAero founder Bill Seed.
But the group is also interested in helping young people see aviation as a potential career as the nation faces a looming pilot shortage. Ace Academy has brought some excitement about the field to students, Seed said.
The pilot shortage is one of the reasons Fortman, 90, agreed to take part in the drawing.
"Young people have lost interest in piloting," said Fortman, a B-17 co-pilot whose plane was shot down over Germany when he was 21.
"There's a real need, so I am honored to be here."
WinnAero members decided to raffle the plane as a way to raise money to pay for their programs. They bought the plane, which had been parked at Laconia Airport for many years, at a discount and then invested time and money in making it like new again. Planes last for decades, Seed said.
"It's a beautiful plane," he said.
The raffle, which was publicized in national aviation publications, netted the group $15,000 to use in upcoming WinnAero projects, Seed said.
READER COMMENTS: 1
- White Mountains school board expands preschool - 0
- Milford team wins seatbelt challenge - 0
- Activist resident launches alternative UNH logo search - 0
- Loeb School offers workshop on producing newsletters - 0
- Threats at Goffstown High ‘not credible’ - 0
- Pushback against logo plan for UNH heats up - 1
- Nashua elementary teacher honored for real-world lessons - 1
- Elementary students in Farmington offered seven habits of healthy kids - 0
- Afterschool activities canceled in Jaffrey - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Gambling bill scuttled, 'Now it is going to be really tough' for budget - 19
- NHIAA Roundup: BG girls’ tennis team sweeps Pinkerton - 0
- NHIAA box scores, summaries for May 22 - 0
- Officials say Goffstown High ‘safe’ after threat of violence - 1
- Manchester Community College graduates told ‘speak your minds’ - 0
- Portsmouth manhunt suspect turns himself in to police - 0
- Nurse said Exeter Hospital is making her a ‘scapegoat’ in hepatitis case - 0
- Derry council defends officials' purchases - 0
- Nashua librarian reports E-books flying off virtual shelves - 0
License revocations for DWI announced
Memorial Day events in New Hampshire
Consider Nevada: Gambling always expands
- Should schools do more to police food and beverages consumed at school?
- Total Votes: 112