Rebecca McGown sings the National Anthem at during the opening ceremonies at the National Aviation Hall of Fame 50th anniversary dinner and ceremony Saturday evening at the Dayton Convention Center Contributed Photo by Charles Caperton
Photo: Charles Caperton
Photo: Charles Caperton

Hall of Fame ceremony moves to AF Museum

Change cancels ‘presidents dinner’ at Convention Center.

The new home will put the Oct. 4 dinner next door to the National Aviation Hall of Fame inside the Air Force museum.

“We cannot think of a better venue to be under the wings and also adjacent to the National Aviation Hall of Fame Learning Center,” said Betty Darst, enshrinement committee chairwoman.

The decision to move the event out of the Dayton Convention Center was based on economics, the backdrop of inducting aviation notables surrounded by jet aircraft in the Modern Flight Gallery and and within feet of the Hall of Fame, said Ron Kaplan, enshrinement director.

As part of the changes, organizers will no longer stage a “president’s dinner” regaled with pilots’ hangar stories at the museum the night before the enshrinement ceremony at the convention center, he said.

The two dinners ended up competing against each other, he said. “That was just unwieldy and after further study (Hall of Fame leaders) decided it was unnecessary,” he said.

Putting on both dinners can cost as much as $250,000 during the weekend celebration, he said. “We’ll be under $200,000” this year, he said. “What I can’t say is by how much.”

The change will mean less than 600 tickets are available this year for one event. The enshrinement ceremony has in recent years drawn 650 to 700 people, down from 900 to 1,000 in past years.

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