I'm sharing the entire press release, let's see how it appears on my blog.
I have some exciting news to share with you, today.
Recently, I received a phone call from Captain Jim Johns of the American Aviation Heritage Foundation asking if I would accept a restored Vultee BT-13 as a gift.
This is the same model that Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) like Elizabeth (Liz) "Betty" Wall Strohfus trained on and flew during WWII!
I'm sure you'll be pleased to know that I said yes.
Maintaining a 1943 airplane and keeping it in flying condition is a huge commitment, but I said yes because I know that I can count on dedicated WASP supporters like you to help.
Barbara, I'm sure you know just how important having an airworthy BT-13 (one of the few still flying today) is to keeping the memory of the WASP alive for future generations.
This magnificent airplane will fly across the country bringing the inspiring story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots to life for young people, who otherwise would never learn how the WASP forever changed the role of women in aviation (because they are too often left out of American history).
As you can imagine, maintaining this magnificent warbird in airworthy condition will cost thousands of dollars - but I hope you'll agree that it's worth every penny.
It will be the gift that keeps on giving... educating future generations of Americans on the important role the WASP played in America's victory in WWII.
But not without your help.
Your immediate support is absolutely critical to bring this magnificent WWII airplane home to Sweetwater and keep her flying.
This magnificent BT-13 will be the centerpiece of our efforts to keep the memory of the WASP alive by inspiring future generations of Americans with their story.
So critical is this plane to our mission, that Captain Jim Johns (US Army Aviation, Retired) dedicated countless hours in search of a BT-13 to restore in honor of the WASP.
We are so grateful to the American Aviation Heritage Foundation and their volunteers who have donated their time and talents to restore this magnificent aircraft to help carry on the legacy of these brave, pioneering women who dropped everything to answer the call to serve when their country needed them.
When the restoration began, they declared, "This One's for the Girls!"
After 5 years of restoration, Captain Johns and his volunteers expect to have our BT-13 ready to make the flight home from Minnesota to Texas in early Spring!
But I'm counting on the generosity of patriots like you to ensure we have the funds needed to own and maintain this magnificent warbird.
It will cost us $3,375 annually to carry airplane insurance and liabilty. Required annual inspections will cost between $1,500 and $2,000 per year to keep her flying. And it will cost $562 in fuel just to fly her one time from Minnesota to Texas (aviation fuel can be as costly as $8 per gallon/$9 in larger metropolitan areas).
To help us reach our goal of $14,587 by year end, would you send a gift of:
- $281 - Covers one month of insurance;
- $150 - One-tenth of the cost for an annual inspection;
- $73 - Representative of the number of years it's been since the WASP flew BT-13's at Avenger Field;
- $38 - One dollar for each WASP who died in service to her country; or
- $19.42 - Representative of the year the WASP first took flight.
As a thank you to the first 150 people to send in a donation of $72 or more, I will send you a copy of "And Still Flying... The Life and Times of Elizabeth (Liz) 'Betty' Wall."
You have been so generous to support the WASP Museum in the past, so I hope I can count on you to help bring this very special plane home where it belongs.
With your help, our BT-13 will serve as a testament to the heroism and bravery of the 1,102 women who put their own lives on hold and on the line to serve our country at its greatest time of need.
This One's For the Girls!
Carol Cain, Associate Director
National WASP WWII Museum
P.S. Don't delay! The first 150 to send in a gift of $72 or more will receive "And Still Flying... The Life and Times of Elizabeth 'Betty' Wall" as a thank you.