51.7 F
Palm Springs
Tuesday, March 31, 2020


The Air Museum's annual Awards and Fundraiser Gala Celebration hosted Joe Mantegna and Musical Entertainment by Tony Orlando.

Must read

Protesters threaten to stab Mitch McConnell outside his home

A mob of angry gun control protesters gathered outside Senator Mitch McConnell’s Louisville home and chanted death threats in a bid to...

Senators Back Protections for Undocumented Military Family Members

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Immigrants' rights groups say fear is spreading among people in the U.S. military who have undocumented family members, after...

Community Challenge Grants Improve Livability Across CA

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Four California communities will see some significant improvements in the next few months – thanks to the 2019 AARP Community...

CA English-Learner Programs to Get $10 Million in Current Budget

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — One in four public-school students in California is an English learner, and now programs to help them become more...

Story and Photos by Pat Krause
The Palm Springs Air Museum held its annual awards and fundraiser gala on February 15th. The celebration honors men who have made and sacrificed so much during their military careers. Many of these men have been decorated several times for their bravery. There was a large cocktail hour where guests got to mingle with the honorees and supporters. It was a night to remember not only for the awards given but also because it was the night after a rainfall that left many roads to the Air Museum blocked which made it difficult for guests to get to the gala on time.

The night started with the Colors being presented by the Desert Hot Springs Marine Corps Junior ROTC teens. The Canadian Presentation of Colors followed them by the Seaforth Highlanders who were accompanied by the Palm Springs Air Museum Pipe Band. The drums and the bagpipers made an impressive sight. Staff Sergeant Horace Miller did justice to the Star Spangled Banner while everyone stood with their hands over their hearts, such a beautiful view in today’s society.

James Houston Jr. and Lisa Houston with actor and emcee Joe Mantegna

The Celebrity Guest was an award-winning actor, Joe Mantegna whose career over 40 years has seen him in movies, on TV as well as the Stage. Mantegna and Gary Sinese have been involved with the National Memorial Day Concert on the Mall since 2002. He wore a unique jacket that was given to him by a man he considered a hero and said he thought it looked better on him than a black tie on this particular night.

There was a special honor in memoriam for James Houston who was a friend and sponsor to the Air Museum along with many others in the Desert. Vice-chair/Managing Director, Fred Bell, told how there are only four stealth fighters that are being given to Museums across the U.S. and the Palm Springs Air Museum is getting one, what a big honor. There will be a Houston Pavilion to house the Stealth Plane in Houston’s Honor.

Fred Bell, VADM USN Mark Irby, Joan MacPherson, and artist Stan Stokes.

Honorees included Col. USAF Ret. Clarence “Bud” Anderson. SSG USA Ret. Richard Thomas, and RM2 USN Ret. Marvin Cohn. More honorees were Brig. Gen. USAF Ret. Robin Olds, that was given posthumously, VADM. USN Ret. Mark Irby, “MRT’ Fox, and Cpt. USN. Astronaut. Ret. Robert “Hoot” Gibson and the only woman to be honored was LCDR. USN. Kirsten “Dragon” Hanson who is still on Active Duty. A video of each honoree was shown, and there was a lot of standing applause for these heroes.

The Honoree SSG. USA Ret. Clinton Romesha who is a Congressional Medal Of Honor recipient was unable to attend but a fellow Congressional of Honor Medal winner, Army Captain Willian Swenson, came to accept for him. Everyone felt so appreciative and overwhelmed by the heroism of these honorees as they each spoke a bit about their life in the military.

The entertainment for the evening was award-winning iconic singer Tony Orlando. Some of his more famous songs include Tie a Yellow Ribbon, Knock Three Times and Vaya Con Dios to name just a few. He started the evening by going out into the crowd to sing and later people got up to dance tonight away. They raised more than half of what is needed. They showed a video of children who have taken part in the museum’s programs for kids. They all spoke about what they have learned about our past and future. They each told about the impact it had on their lives so far and thanked all the guests for their support so they can continue in the programs. The programs are free to all the children and schools.


More articles

Latest article

Border Patrol Arrests Woman Attempting to Smuggle Meth

SALTON CITY, Calif. – El Centro SectorBorder Patrol agents working at the Highway 86 immigration checkpoint arrested a woman suspected of smuggling methamphetamine...

Medical marijuana workers start unionizing with government help

Marijuana may still be illegal at the federal level, but the US labor board believes pot workers still have the same rights as any...

America’s first recreational pot licenses issued in Colorado

Colorado made history on Monday, becoming the first state in the US to issue hundreds of licenses for recreational marijuana businesses. Colorado's Marijuana Enforcement Division...

Praised & Maligned Medical Marijuana Collective to Celebrate 3rd Anniversary

Praised & Maligned Medical Marijuana Collective to Celebrate 3rd Anniversary Riverside’s actions to close the collective is at the California Supreme Court, but they are...

Obama administration considering ways to overturn marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado

New legislation in Washington state went into effect this week that legalizes for the first time in ages the possession of marijuana. Federal law...